By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The stage is set – the streets of Philadelphia – from the Ben Franklin Parkway to Manayunk, for Sunday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Championship.
Many of the top cycling teams from around the world are now rolling in for the ‘biggest and most prestigious one-day race in the U-S.’
This year’s edition brings a few changes – including the length of the race. It’s been shortened from 156 miles to 124. That’s 7 times up the Manayunk Wall, including five finishing circuits between Lemon Hill and the Parkway.
Organizer Dave Chauner says it makes it more likely that a larger field will contest that final sprint, when they come around Logan Circle, to the finish line.
Fans like Curtis Anthony, who works at Via Bicycle at 9th and South Streets, expects to see a breakaway situation, and a lone rider, or group of riders, going off the front, by several minutes:
“So frequently the person who’s doing well throughout the race may not be the man at the finish line,” Anthony said. “It may be somebody who’s lurking at the back, and conserving energy. that’s what tactics are all about.”
This year’s race shows an increase in the number of U-S-based teams among the 180 or so participants. Each team brings 8 riders to the line – and they each have specific orders, depending on how the race evolves.