Forty-two teams with riders from more than thirty countries arrived in Philadelphia this weekend to race in the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic presented by Parx Casino and Live! Hotel and Casino. For the first time in fourteen years, the UCI Women’s Road World Cup returned to the U.S., bringing world-class cycling to the City of Philadelphia.
“Philadelphia is known as a sports city, and we’re increasingly gaining the reputation as a cycling city for professionals and amateurs alike,” said Mayor Nutter. “This year’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic brought back the UCI Road Women’s World Cup event, and I thank UCI President Brian Cookson and his team for choosing to bring this prestigious event to our great city. Sunday was a great day for pro cycling and race fans in the City of Philadelphia.”
The women’s roster was impressive with 5 of the top 10 contenders for the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, creating a very exciting race. Evie Stevens of Boels-Dolmans, winner of the 2013 and 2014 Philly Cycling Classic, put up a good fight, finishing 6th overall and helping her teammate, Lizzie Armitstead, to the line first.
“We really wanted to work for Evie on the final climb, but it got a little messed up,” said Lizzie Armitstead. “I kind of had to think on instinct and go for the win, so it wasn’t exactly to plan, but at least one of us was on the podium.”
Armitstead winning is a game changer in the World Cup series, earning points in Philadelphia has moved her into the leader’s jersey and 1st place in the series. Elisa Longo Borghini of Wiggle-Honda and Alena Amialiusik of Velocio-SRAM took second and third places, boosting them to 2nd and 5th places respectively in the UCI Women’s Road World Cup standings.
2015 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Women’s Podium
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBR) Boels-Dolmans
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) Wiggle-Honda
3. Alena Amialiusik (BLR) Velocio-SRAM
Sprinter – Emilie Moberg (NOR) HiTec Products
QOM – Jasmin Glaesser (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
The men’s race was just as thrilling. Carlos Barbero Cuesta of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA won the race to the cheers of the crowds and the roar of the Fuji party at the top of the wall. Fuji Bicycles are a Philadelphia-based company and the bicycle sponsor of the Caja Rural-Suguros RGA team. Michael Woods of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies finished in 2nd and Toms Skujins of Hincapie Racing Team placed 3rd. Adam De Vos of H&R Block Pro Cycling took home the King of the Mountain (KOM) crown. Skujins Teammate and Philadelphia native, Robin Carpenter, collected the most points to win the sprinter’s award, finishing the race while offering high-fives to the fans during his last climb up the Manayunk Wall.
“The race yesterday was incredibly exciting all day,” said Carpenter. “It seemed like the race was over before it ever began. I was on the attack all day and was in the front group for nearly the whole race, representing my team in the breaks while putting pressure on other teams to chase. The sprint jersey wasn’t necessarily my objective but I think it’s a just reward for being at the front of the race all day.”
2015 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Men’s Podium
1. Carlos Barbero Cuesta (ESP) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
2. Michael Woods (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
3. Toms Skujins (LAT) Hincapie Racing Team
Sprinter – Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
KOM – Adam De Vos (CAN) H&R Block Pro Cycling
Other additions to this year’s event included two jumbotrons, one in Roxborough and another on Lemon Hill, and livestream video that aired around the world on 9 sites, and has since been viewed in 117 countries. And the traveling entertainment along the course through Manayunk, Roxborough, Lemon Hill, and East Falls was also a nice feature for the fans. Crowds listened to music by Worldtown Soundsystem, witnessed magic by Peter Pitchford Magic By Manipulation, enjoyed juggling and stilt walking by Dick Rainer Entertainment, accordion playing by John Collins, and a mountain bike stunt show by 12x National Champion Mike Steidley in the Expo area.
About the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is a dynamic and selective 12.3-mile circuit looping through some of Philadelphia’s favorite neighborhoods. It features a women’s UCI Road World Cup event and a men’s UCI 1.2 level race, challenging some of the world’s top professional cycling teams to climb the Manayunk Wall, the most historical climb in U.S. cycling history. For more information, visit www.philadelphiainternationalcyclingclassic.com.