Sunday's 25th International Cycling Championship pits some of the world's best riders on a grueling, 14.4-mile course for 156 miles.

And since the field is wide open this year, there are several names in the mix to cross the finish line first.

On the American side, the Kelly Benefit Strategies team will provide several contenders, including West Chester native Scott Zwizanski, who will make his fifth consecutive appearance in the race.

"Being from the area, I feel a little pressure because I try to do well. But this is a big race for guys who aren't from here, too," he said.

There is also the appearance of another local product, Floyd Landis. The Lancaster native returned to pro cycling earlier this year after a two-year ban for testing positive for a banned substance at the 2006 Tour de France and is with the OUCH Pro Cycling Team.

Also in the race will be three-time U.S. national champion Fred Rodriguez, who won the race in 2001, and is the only American in Sunday's field to have done so. That success, along with the event's atmosphere, keeps the veteran coming back for more, he says.

"I've always done really well here," Rodriguez said. "I almost won here in my rookie year ['96], and since then it's been my favorite race."

On the international side, there are several contenders. New Zealand's Greg Henderson, the 2006 winner, and Norway's Hagen Boasson Edvald, the field's top-ranked rider worldwide, at 23d, are among the headliners.

As for the course, the fabled Manayunk Wall, according to Brian Walton, a trainer and former Olympic rider, provides a unique obstacle and aspect to the contest.

"The Wall will separate the wannabes, but it won't separate the contenders," Walton said.

Weather adds another dimension. Sunday's forecast calls for temperatures in the low 80s. Walton likes that.

"I liked it hot when I raced," he said, "so it could rough up the [Europeans] a bit."