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By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This year’s Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, set for Sunday on a race course that includes the Ben Franklin Parkway, Kelly Drive, and up through the Manayunk section of town, includes more American riders.
Twenty-five-year old Michael Chauner (photo,right) has been on the race course virtually every year of his life. His father, Dave Chauner, co-founded the event. Last year, Michael, competed in the race for the first time, and came in 39th, just 20-seconds behind the first place finisher.
“I kind of got the first one over with. I know I can finish the race. Now, with the team, we’re trying to win.”
The West Chester-based Chauner is with the Cykel City/ ProAir. His teammate, fellow American Bobby Lea, who hails from Topton, Pa, near Allentown, is going to the Olympics this summer for the second time.
“It’s not too often that we get such a long circuit in such an urban setting. Normally, if we’re racing in a city, it is a mile or half-mile loop; so to be able to race on a 15-mile circuit in downtown, closed off streets is a real rush.”
This year’s race is shorter, relatively speaking for these elite athletes. They’ll do seven climbs, rather than 10 up the Manayunk Wall, for a total of 124 miles.