Today, the organizers announced the Men’s teams that will race at the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, aka Philly Race, on June 7 2009.
The prestigious race, in its twenty-fifth year, was saved in extremis this year after two sponsors Sugarhouse Casino and Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia stepped up with sponsorship dollars, as each contributed $100,000 to the event. Race organizers are still facing a budget gap but the public support by fans and new sponsors was enough to keep the race on – at least for this year.
Pros from 26 countries and 24 teams will be on the start line of the majestic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Defending Champion Matti Breschel will not be returning as Saxo Bank is not on the list of announced teams. One team that is surprisingly not on the list is the Cervelo Test Team.
Three ProTour teams are showing up. The number-one ranked team in the world Columbia-High Road is bringing big guns such as Austrian Bernhard Eisel, New Zealander Greg Henderson and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway. Eisel dominated the then three-race series in 2007 by winning two races and the overall Triple Crown title, Henderson won both the Philadelphia Championship and the Reading Classic in 2006, which launched his current European racing career and 22 year-old Boasson Hagen won a stage of the Giro d’Italia this year.
The Italian Liquigas team is also bringing an impressive line-up, including Manuel Quinziato, one of the top one-day race specialists who has two top 10 results already this year. His teammate Francesco Chicchi is a former U23 world champion. The final ProTour team is Fuji-Servetto whose bike sponsors Fuji Bikes, is a Philadelphia-based company with a long history in professional cycling sponsorship.
Two Pro Continental teams, Austria’s Elk Haus and Team BMC have accepted the invitation to face the Mayanunk Wall. BMC shoould be bringing another Swiss American team with riders such as Alexandre Moos, Markus Zberg, Tony Cruz and Scott Nydam.
Continental Americans teams: Ouch-Maxxis which has won USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar series four of the past five years. The Amore & Vita-McDonalds team used last year’s race series to make a name for themselves on the international scene with Ukrainian Yuri Metlushenko winning the Allentown race in a hard-fought field sprint. The Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light team has a lot of fast talent on their roster, including Argentinean Sebastian Haedo, who is the younger brother to 2007 Philly champion JJ Haedo.
The Kelly Benefits Strategies team boasts an updated roster of strong riders, led by veteran Alex Candelario who was fifth in the Philadelphia International in 2008. Canadian Zach Bell, silver medalist in the 2009 World Track championships, adds some more speed for their team. Rock Racing with three-time Philly (2000, 2001, 2004) winner Fred Rodriguez and current US National Crit champion Rahsaan Bahati. Bissell Pro Cycling with former US National Crit Champion Kirk O’Bee. Team Mountain Khakis who just swept the USA Crits Speed Week series. Other American Continental teams include Team Type 1, Jelly Belly Cycling Team, Kenda Pro Cycling presented by Spinergy, DLP Racing and Land Rover–Orbea.
The two other Continental teams are Fly V Australia and Steve Bauer’s Planet Energy from Canada.
Rounding out the men’s field are national teams from the United States, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Nigeria and Denmark.
- Fuji-Servetto: Spain
- Team Columbia–High Road: USA
- Liquigas: Italy
- BMC Racing Team: USA
- Elk Haus: AUT
- Fly V Australia: Australia
- Planet Energy: Canada
- Bissell Pro Cycling: USA
- Colavita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light: USA
- Jelly Belly Cycling Team: USA
- Kelly Benefits Strategies: USA
- Kenda Pro Cycling presented by Spinergy: USA
- Land Rover – Orbea: USA
- Ouch Presented by Maxxis: USA
- Rock Racing: USA
- Team Mountain Khakis: USA
- Team Type 1: USA
- Amore & Vita: USA
- DLP Racing: USA
- Swedish National Team: Sweden
- USA National Team: USA
- Czech Republic National Team: Czech Republic
- Nigerian National Team: Nigeria
- Danish National Team: Denmark