The men’s and women’s team head to Philadelphia this weekend to compete at the longest running and most prestigious one-day race in the United States – the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship. The men, who bring a veteran roster with decades of collective experience to the race, are joined by the NRC’s top ranked women’s team for the Liberty Classic. The top spot of the podium could be a real possibility for both Optum p/b KBS teams on the infamous Philadelphia circuit.
The men’s race this year will see a slight change – the distance has been reduced from the traditional 156 miles to a shorter 124-mile course. The shorter distance will be of little consolation, however, as the 17% grade Manayunk Wall looms large over the peloton and will undoubtedly play a major factor in the race’s outcome.
“Having raced and directed here, I know that this course is no walk in the park, regardless of any changes that have been made,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “That hill can be absolutely unforgiving and will certainly decide who eventually steps up to the podium and who goes home empty handed.”
Alex Candelario and Ken Hanson, who have both finished in the top-five at the prestigious event, have enjoyed some great results recently with Candelario’s fourth place finish at the Amgen Tour of California and Hanson’s incredible efforts at last weekends US Pro Championships where he sprinted to a fourth place finish in Greenville, NC.
Women Ready For Liberty Classic
The sixty-mile women’s race, kicking off just ten minutes after the men, will cover much of the same course and share the same epic sprint line on historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The team, which just finished competing at the Exergy Tour in Boise, Idaho, is looking to expand their win column and make up for some of their recent near misses.
“The women just came away from the toughest competition they’ve seen all year, and they performed wonderfully. We missed a couple podiums by very slim margins at Exergy so we’re looking to make up for it here in Philadelphia,” said women’s Performance Director Rachel Heal. “The riders are ready, motivated and hungry for a solid win.”
The race is this Sunday and can be seen on Comcast SportsNet, from 12pm – 3:30pm ET.
* Rider not yet confirmed for race