Women Tackle Quebec’s Chrono Gatineau, Grand Prix Gatineau before Philly circuit
This first weekend in June brings the team back to one of the most historic one-day races in the world, the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. Since 1985, the race has taken on a variety of names and title sponsors, but its core tenants have remained the same – punishing climbs up the city’s famed Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill and one of the most energetic, massive fan bases on American soil.
For the men, it will be the ninth consecutive year contesting the iconic race. the closest they have been to the top step of the podium was a second place finish for Jesse Anthony in 2013, the first-ever edition to begin and end at the top of the Manayunk Wall. Canadian climbing specialist Lex Albrecht finished second in last year’s women’s race, and will be accompanied by a team of all-rounders fit for the race’s unique and unforgiving course layout.
Mirroring the new course design from 2014, the 2015 edition features one 12.3 mile lap passing some of the city’s most famous landmarks. The race is setting trends again in ’15 by featuring the women’s side of racing prominently – it occupies the prime time slot, and is a UCI sanctioned Women’s World Cup event, the only one in the United States and the first since 2001. The women’s distance has also been lengthened to six laps, covering 73.8 miles. The men tackle nine laps and 110.7 miles on the same loop. Once again, the race’s considerable prize pot is split evenly between the men and women.
“Our team tends to fare better with longer, more difficult racing,” said Women’s Performance Director Patrick McCarty. “The added distance and tougher competition due to the race’s new World Cup status should play into our favor. It will be an interesting race, and tough to predict, but the added speed and distance will certainly play to our strengths.”
The difficulty and unpredictability of the race cannot be understated – besides the dual king-of-the-mountain grade climbs on Lemon Hill and Manayunk, the rest of the course is highly technical and provides little time for recovery. The new course layout, with its “mountaintop” finish on Manayunk, favors a rider with a taste for short, steep climbs and punchy acceleration.
“We have four riders on the roster that we believe can get a result in Philly – Will Routley, Mike Woods, Jesse Anthony, and Ryan Anderson,” said Men’s Performance Director Jonas Carney. “One of those four will be our designated leader for the day, but you never know how things will pan out at one of the hardest races we do all year. “We will need the entire team to be on point throughout the race so we don’t miss any important splits.”
GP Gatineau, Chrono Gatineau Serve as Philly Prologue for Women
The majority of the women’s roster headed to Philadelphia will first make a stop in Quebec for a double-header of racing at the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau, June 4th and 5th. Featuring a road race and time trial, the event is more than just a “warm-up” for the main course in Philly – a revamped road course brings with it some top international teams. The team has had success in Gatineau before – last year, former Orange & Black standout Denise Ramsden won the road race, and Leah Kirchmann finished second in the time trial.
Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Women’s Roster
Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Men’s Roster
Chrono Gatineau Roster
Annie Ewart (Canadian National Team)
Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau Roster