Your guide to the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship
AGENDA What: 27th Philadelphia International Cycling Championship When: Sunday, 9 a.m. for men's race (approximate finish time 3:10 p.m.); 9:10 for women's race (approximate finish time 11:30 a.m.)
What: 27th Philadelphia International Cycling Championship
When: Sunday, 9 a.m. for men's race (approximate finish time 3:10 p.m.); 9:10 for women's race (approximate finish time 11:30 a.m.)
TV: Comcast SportsNet, noon-3:30
Teams: 18 teams with riders coming from eight countries. More than 180 riders will compete. In the women's race, more than 100 riders will compete.
Course: For the men, 156 miles, broken into 10 laps of 14.4 miles each. For the women, 57.6 miles, broken into four laps of 14.4 miles each. For a course map, go to our website at www.philly.com/XXXX.
Scenery: The circuit links the hillside community of Manayunk with the scenic Ben Franklin Parkway. It also includes laps around Lemon Hill and Logan Circle. The most brutal part of the race is Lyceum Avenue, known as the Manayunk Wall. The Wall is 1-mile long with a steep, 17-degree incline. The riders take 10 climbs up the Wall.
The Water Hole: One stop along the Wall is Bill O'Brian's Water Hole. One year, Bill decided to spray some of the bikers with a hose to help them beat the heat. The next year he placed a misty shower that the cyclists could ride under. People gather in the yard to cheer on the cyclists as they ride through the mist.
* The average speed of the riders is approximately 25 mph for the entire 156-mile race.
* Average speed up the wall is 8 to 18 mph, depending upon the rider, which lap, and what their role is on the team.
* Average amount of calories pro riders need to consume is 4,000, just for race to maintain energy. An average 140-pound cyclist will burn about 700 calories per hour.
* Average pro racer has about 5 to 8 percent body fat. Most non-elite athletes are around 20 percent.
* In training, many of the professional cyclists log approximately 20,000 miles per year (more than the average person puts on their car).
WHERE TO WATCH
* The start/finish line is where the action is leading up to the 9 a.m. start for the men and the 9:10 a.m. start for the women. A large-screen TV broadcasts the cyclists from all points on the course. You can also get VIP tickets for the tent along the start/finish line on Champions Row.
* To see the riders power up the Manayunk Wall, get there early. Crowds really start to set in around noon. The Wall is a residential area, full of families and friends, with many parties going on during the race.
* What goes up must comes down. The place to catch the riders on the descent is along Manayunk Avenue - the "Fall from the Wall." Cyclists can reach speeds of 55 mph.
* The top of Strawberry Hill is a secluded spot great for vieiwing the race.
* Lemon Hill is a popular spot, especially as the race nears the end. At the intersection of Sedgley and Poplar Drive, you can see the riders' skill in descending off Lemon Hill, taking a sweeping right at high speeds.
* The Feed Zone on the Northeast side of the Art Museum. Riders grab lunch on the go or a quick wheel change before their return to Manayunk. Also, as riders retire from the race, they head for the team tent, making this a great place to snag an autograph. Across from the Feed Zone, at the base of the Art Museum, be sure to check out the family fun zone for entertainment and activities between the laps.
JERSEYS TO WATCH
Won the past 2 years and one of the two teams in the race from the top-level "ProTour" division. Personnel has changed, but includes current track world champion Leigh Howard and 22-year-old American phenom Tejay Van Garderen.
Other "ProTour" team in the field and has probably the odds-on favorite in Peter Sagan, who won two stages of the Tour of California last year and won another stage this year.
A new team from Canada by Steve Bauer, Canada's most decorated male cyclist and a former yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France. American Pat McCarty is the featured cyclist.
The last domestic team winner of this race in 2006; comes in off a third-place finish at the Tour of California. Went 1-2 at the Wilmington Grand Prix with Jake Keough and Dutch rider Boy van Poppel.
Team Type 1
U.S.-based team that acquired a lot of international talent in the offseason and has a lengthy European racing schedule for 2011. Rubens Bertogliati is a former yellow jersey wearer at the Tour de France; teammate Alexander Efimkin (RUS) recently captured the 2011 Tour of Turkey GC win.
Winner the past 2 years. American Amber Neben is a former world champion and teammate Evelyn Stevens had her best year in 2010, culminating with the U.S. time trial championship and a Top 10 finish in the world time trial championship.
Colavita Forno d'Asolo
One of the prerace favorites; powerful 1-2 punch with world champion Giorgia Bronzini, of Italy, and Philly resident Theresa Cliff-Ryan (third here last year).
Diadora Pasta Zara
Current U.S. national champion Mara Abbott has is a top road rider and time trialist.
TIBCO - To The Top
Veteran racer Meredith Miller and Joelle Numainville, the current Canadian road race champion, leads this team.
The big name is Laura Van Gilder, from Cresco, Pa. A veteran of two decades of competition, she is one of the top sprinters in the field.