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TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships

May 6, 2009
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Looking forward to this race. We obviously don't have coverage here, but how big is this race in America?

Anyway I have to go for a Team columbia win. EBH to attack on the last lap and TT to the line and win.
 
I'm not sure why, but the race doesn't have the same luster to me it did when it was the USPRO Championships. Though I completely understand why it's no longer the case. None the less, the famed Manayunk Wall, watering hole, and history of this race make it worth following.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Looking forward to this race. We obviously don't have coverage here, but how big is this race in America?

Its so big in America that they never televise it outside of ? (do they even televise it?), then we usually don't know the results till the next day if any. Someday American cycling will remember to list the results... before the following day. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 10, 2009
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craig1985 said:
TBF in Australia the only races we get live are the TdF and Roubaix. And Roubaix is only because O'Grady won it.

Sounds like Australia is just like the USA, any cyclilng race an American won as of late is listed as an important race and mentioned if luckily televised. Everything else falls on deaf ears :mad: as if it didn't exist.
 
It's one of the biggest races on the US Calender but only the hardcore fans even know it's going on.

Cyclingnews actually is covering live on their tracker.

Dan Holloway who rides for Garmin's Felt Dev squad has a big lead for the first 2 circuits. He is actually riding for USA today as is Summerhill.

An interesting side note is that Chad Gerlach who was living on the street and a hardcore drug addict just a little more than a year ago is racing for Vita & Amore. He's the dude who punched Armstrong in the gut when they where young kids.
 
Mar 20, 2009
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What a snooze-fest. When Columbia calls the race before the start, it's no contest. The course isn't tough enough to make a real selection.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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I wonder what the other teams felt like when they saw Columbia's line-up. Greipel, Henderson, Hagen and Eisel - any of them could win that mass sprint. I feel sorry for them :)
 
I cannot believe this race has only received a small number of posts. I know there are a lot of US guys on here so why so little comment on the biggest one-day race in the US. I guess if its not on TV, it doesnt help but surely some went to see it or followed it online.

I flew down from Maine to Philly a few years back just to see this race and I loved it, was sitting on Lemon Hill and the atmosphere was great. How many US races get 3-4 ProTour teams, where were Astana? People should take advantage when the top pros are out and about.

Maybe it just illustrates that most so called US cycling fans are simply Lance fans and have no interest in anything that doesnt involve Lance which is very sad. We are expected to respect their views/defence of Lance but how can we when they dont seem to know anything about cycling in general.

Oh yeah, after all the rubbish about Tour of Gila, anyone even notice or care that another great race, Tour of Altoona was cancelled and a small US team BMC have now been prevented from racing in the NRC US races because of what went down at Gila. So remind me again, how does Lance, Levi etc benefit US cycling.
 
pmcg76 said:
I cannot believe this race has only received a small number of posts. I know there are a lot of US guys on here so why so little comment on the biggest one-day race in the US. I guess if its not on TV, it doesnt help but surely some went to see it or followed it online.

There are probably a lot of reasons.

1) Not on TV.

2) A lot of U.S. fans are more stage racing fans than one days fans.

3) Not on TV.

4) U.S. pro racing has suffered for a long time from big fish in a small pond syndrome. There always seems to be one well funded team that beats the tar out of everyone else.

5) When it was the national champion race, it always seemed to be won by a foreigner and the best american would be the nat champ. Lame as far as a championship race goes.

6) A whole bunch of fans of Saint Lance--despite Armstrong winning it one year--have never heard of it; and since Armstrong did not race it, they are unlikely to ever know anything about it.

7) Not on TV.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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This race really does fly under the radar...to the point where I *lived* in Philadelphia in 4 years and wasn't aware of it. In fairness I wasn't particularly invested in following pro cycling at the time, and I was only in town once for the actual race - but given the amount of time I spent on the bike, riding on parts of the route, hanging out with much more serious cyclists I find it hard to believe I was so unaware.
 
Cartesian Centaur said:
This race really does fly under the radar...to the point where I *lived* in Philadelphia in 4 years and wasn't aware of it. but given the amount of time I spent on the bike, riding on parts of the route, hanging out with much more serious cyclists I find it hard to believe I was so unaware.

This has been the only big race in the US to survive the last 25 years or so, it also doubled as the USPRO Nationals until recently, includes regular appearences by European teams, regularly attracts crowds of 250,000 people and was once part of a triple crown that awarded $1million won by Lance in 93 and people have never heard of this race?? I am not from the US but have known about this race since I started following cycling.

What frustrates me is people making a fuss about Lance, Levi competing in the much less known Tour of Gila but barely notice a race like Philly which is a fantastic event. No wonder US cycling is not going anywhere fast. The best thing Lance could do next season is make sure he and his team compete solely in the US to raise awareness of all US races.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Ok first this is the first year in many that the race was not on TV, probably because of sponsership problems, they almost did not have the race to begin with.

Second there is usually over half a million people watching it in the streets every year, from Lemon Hill to the Unk, up the parkway and such.

It was not a snooze fest as some one put it, the lone USA rider out in front for so long, and getting the chants of USA, USA up the wall everytime was awesome. The last time he west up solo, as he knew he would be caught next lap, he gave a few high fives, by the watering hole. Was fun to see.
The final laps up lemon hill, "The Hurricane of Pain" as the annoucer calls it..hehe, were great with the crowd really into every lap up Lemon Hill.
Yes columbia came to the front, like they did in every sprint stage in the Giro I believe, guess that was a snooze fest as well.

Someone said they lived here for 4 years but did not know the race happened, not sure when you lived here, but I find that amazing with all the bike shop and bike club, local tv, radio involvment.

The Philly race has been going strong for 25 years, and I'm sure it will continue to do so, with the support of the many hundreds of thousands of people that come watch it every year.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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As I said, I wasn't particularly invested in pro cycling when I was living in Philly - I was miffed to find out that I'd missed out on such an awesome event once I did start to get more interested.
Admittedly, didn't have a TV or listen to radio when I was living out there, but I still would have expected to find out about it from riding along the route (Signs always appear a few weeks before an event of similar magnitude here in the UK) and knowing a bunch of fairly avid cyclists...I guess we were all too caught up in our fixies to pay any attention to roadies.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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A day at the races ...

Okay, enough cynicism! I was at the race on Sunday. I left Valley Forge Park, about 20 miles away from the start, at 7:30 in the morning with some other members of my cycling club. We rode in on the Schuylkill River Trail which is a very popular cycling route. At 7:30 in the morning there was a trickle of riders heading for Philly from Valley Forge, but as we got closer to the city the trickle turned into a steady stream of riders heading downtown. By the time we turned onto Kelly Drive, the road was a sea of cyclists: some riding the course prior to the race, some heading for their favorite spot to watch, and even some of the pros warming up. I got a nice 25 mph tow behind one of the women pros as we made the last mile down Kelly Drive to the Ben Franklin Parkway.

There was a bustling exhibition area near the start/finish area where vendors had set up their canopies and were selling all things cycling: from new carbon frames to old team jerseys. Unlike prior years when the competitors were treated to the oppressive humidity and heat of southeast Pennsylvania, the sky was blue and the day was clear and warm; a perfect day for a bike race for both competitors and spectators.

The race was led out by a phalanx of Philly cops riding motorcycles with flags flying and lights flashing. The men’s race started first with three laps around Logan Circle passing in front of the steps of the art museum (made famous in the movie Rocky) before they headed down Kelly Drive for the first of 10 fourteen mile laps. By the time they left Logan Circle, Dan Holloway, a young American pro, had already taken a flyer off the front and was fully committed to his breakaway. About 5 minutes or so after the men’s field headed up Kelly Drive, the women’s field crossed the starting line and likewise entered Kelly Drive moving toward Manayunk and its famous wall for their first of four laps around the course.

After watching the start my companions and I rode up to Lemon Hill in time to catch the end of the first lap as the race returned from Manayunk. Lemon Hill is a great place to watch the race. The course is flanked by a grassy hill forming a sort of natural amphitheater. Spectators picnic on the hillside and have a perfect view of the race as it winds up the road. Dan Holloway was the first rider up the hill and received a huge cheer from the assembling crowd. As he climbed up the hill he kept holding his hand to his ear encouraging us to make more noise, and we happily obliged. Several minutes later the men’s field came through all together, doing what looked like a Sunday recovery ride! Peloton spread wide across the road … everybody in the saddle … just kind of cruising. Even I could have hung with them at that pace! Obviously they were not worried about the two riders off the front. But it was not from the front that their troubles would come this day.

Only a few minutes after the men’s field lazily crested Lemon Hill, the women’s field appeared in a decidedly different mood. They were charging at full tilt, out of the saddle, and strung out all over the road. Even before the first lap had been completed a large number of riders were already way off the back, clearly suffering, and fearing (or perhaps praying for) early relegation. One of the great things about the Philly race crowd is that they cheer just as loudly, if not even louder, for the back markers as they do for the leaders. As the remains of the women’s field struggled up the hill each one received a huge ovation of encouragement and appreciation from the crowd. Some of them even managed a brief smile between grimaces.

At this point you began hearing murmurs in the crowd about how close the women’s field seemed to be to the men. Indeed, as we caught glimpses of the race through the trees as it headed back up Kelly Drive, it seemed that the front of the women’s field was even closer to the men’s support caravan. We began talking about what might happen if the women caught the men. Had it ever happened before? What would the referees do? No one was sure, but it added quite a bit of intrigue to the race. We decided to stay put at Lemon Hill for one more lap. The next time around Dan Holloway had opened up an even larger lead and still appeared to be riding strong. The men’s field came through all together once again looking placid; more like a charity ride than a pro race. Then, about a minute later, the women came blazing through again, clearly gaining on the men. This was going to be interesting!

After a hot dog and some home-baked goodies it was time to move on, so we rode up to Manayunk and stopped at the top of the wall in time to catch lap number 4. The Manayunk Wall is one big party on race day. Live bands playing, local radio stations broadcasting, food and drink (a lot of it beer), and scores of people make the wall the most entertaining place on the race course. First up the wall was Dan Holloway getting all of the adulation you’d expect for a young kid draped in a USA jersey, leading a race of international cycling stars in an American town. In spite of the energy directed toward him, the long day spent off the front was obviously beginning to tell. Andrew Talanski came over next, obviously gaining ground on the fading Holloway. We all agreed that Holloway should wait for Talanski so the two could work together against the peloton. Expecting to see the men’s field next we were quite surprised to see the women driving up the wall. Apparently, they had caught the men and the race officials had “neutralized” the men’s field in order to allow the women to pass. This has never happened at the Philly race before and caused quite a bit of excitement. The roar for the over-achieving women’s field was deafening as they came up the wall for the last time. You go, girls!

Finally, the men’s field came up the wall led by Floyd Landis, and looking quite a bit more serious than the last time we had seen them. The neutralization and their lax pace had given a thirteen minute advantage to Holloway and the alarm bells had gone off. Now, the question was could Holloway hold out? The next lap would tell. When Holloway came up the wall for lap #5, he looked more like Rocky Balboa after fighting Apollo Creed: weaving up the steep pitch and “moving all over his machine” as Paul Sherwen likes to say. This time Talanski was right on his heels. Then, only three minutes later, the peloton came screaming over the wall in full pursuit. Game over.

It was now noon, and time for my friends and me to head for home, jersey pockets stuffed full of swag, after another great day at the Philly bike race. In spite of funding problems due to the difficult economy, the organizers managed to pick up the necessary sponsors at the last minute and put on another great show for the fans and the city.

Hopefully they will be able to find the funding to bring back the rest of the series and the live TV coverage again next year. Regardless, the Philly race is still a great event.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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That was a great report, I'm glad you a had a great time.

One of the funniest things I saw on Sunday was when the motorcycle giving the times to the woman's race(if there had been a breakaway at the moment) came by on the lap that they passed the men, I was at Falls Bridge, which is a little over half way to "The Wall" on Kelly Drive, and written on the dry erase board of the motorcycle riders was

WE PASSED THE MEN

We all began cheering at the women when they rode by even louder because of that sign.

Oh and thanks to the girls and guys from Rock Racing, as I was only one of 3 people there(the other 2 my girlfriend and co-worker) at the race in full Rock kit...thanks for the free water bottles.