The Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling is set to begin today with its first race, the Lehigh Valley Classic.
That race is an 85-mile, 12-lap circuit race that runs through Allentown and Salisbury Township.
Then, on Thursday, the Triple Crown caravan will move to Reading for a 75-mile, 10-lap ride through the city's downtown and nearby Mount Penn.
Finally, on Sunday will be the Philadelphia International Championship. Celebrating its 24th running, this 156-mile race begins and ends on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The women's three-race series begins with criteriums in the Lehigh Valley and Reading before concluding with the 56.7-mile Liberty Classic, held on Sunday and on the same course as the men's finale.
During the men's race on Sunday, a field of the world's 200 best cyclists will ride 10 laps of the 14.4-mile primary circuit that includes the infamous Manayunk Wall, with its always-raucous fans and precipitous grades that exceed 17 percent. Those 10 laps are followed by three finishing laps up and over Lemon Hill before the 2008 champion is crowned.