About Gil Hatton
Gil has been racing for over 50 years. He started cycling in 1966, introduced to the sport by his father. His father was introducted to the sport by an Olympic speed skater & cyclist, Bill Disney, who was the brother of Gil's soon-to-be coach and mentor, Jack Disney (Cycling Hall of Fame Member).
Gil won his first licenced race at 10 years old on Catalina Island off shore of Southern California. Gil grew up a natural athlete, excelling in multiple high school sports (football, baseball, and track). However, cycling drew his focus after winning his first national championship at 11 years old, despite only training for one year. He went on to win a national championship in every division offered by USA Cycling from junior 10-12 through elite tandem, professional, and masters. This is a feat most can only dream about.
Three years after winning a World Championship, and a wild stint in Los Angeles, the T-town track was created (1976). Gil was one of the first non-local riders to compete at this new track in the Lehigh Valley. Realizing that his life would be more prosperous in Pennsylvania he moved to PA and turned pro in 1980. Under the guidance of Jack Simes he went to Zurich, Switzerland in 1983 and won the bronze medal in the Keirin World Championships. Subsequently, he became the first American to be invited to ride Japanese Keirin for 8 consecutive years.
After retiring from professional racing in 1991 Gil kept competing in the masters ranks and went on to win 9 world medals at the Maters World Track Championships. Throughout all of these successes, Gil coached riders at the velodrome.
Today, Gil still resides in the Lehigh Valley and coaches junior cyclists at the Kissena Velodrome (Flushing, NY) as well as the Valley Preferred Cycling Center (T-town, PA). He continues to ride. Be on the lookout for him at the 2017 Maters World Championships in Los Angeles, California as he strives to win his 12th World Championship medal!
-Masters Division Cyclist
-50 Years of Competitive Cycling
-Masters World Sprint Championion (2011)
-Valley Preferred Cycling Center Hall of Fame Inductee (2003)
-2x Masters World Champion (1997)
-3x Masters World Champion (<1997)
-3x Masters World Silver Medalist
-Bronze Medalist World Championship Keirin (1983)
-Junior World Sprint Champion (1974)
-Professional Racer for Japanese Keirin, JKA (1984-1991)
-35 Victories in the JKA
-4x All Jpan Keirin Champion
-First American to be invited to the JKA
-Started coaching in 1976 with the Air Products Program (the Air Products Program is a infamous grass roots cycling program at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center for 41 years. Over 16,000 riders have passed through this program.)
-Created the American Cycling Academy (the Academy has garnished over 250 national championship medals throughout its existance, including Junior Pan Am Medalist & Junior World Medalist.)
-1997 USOC Junior Development Coach of the Year
-1995 & 1999 Pan American Assistant Sprint Coach
-1996 & 2000 Olympic Coach