More than two dozen men's professional cycling teams and at least a dozen women's teams will roll into Pennsylvania for this weekend's Reading 120 and Thompson Bucks County Classic races.
A mix of professional continental, national, regional and club-level squads are competing in the two days of racing on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT), the premier domestic road calendar event in the United States. Saturday's Reading 120 is also a men's-only, UCI 1.2 event.
"Once again, we are delighted these races have attracted so much top talent and so many quality teams," Race Director John Eustice said. "Our races have always been based on showcasing the American professional racing class and they have responded in force."
The professional women's criterium sponsored by Doylestown Health has a talent-laden field that includes two of the top three riders on the PRT and the leading team, ISCorp Cycling presented by SmartChoice MRI.
Amy Cutler of Fearless Femme Racing and winner in Doylestown in 2014, said the 25-mile race has it all: a healthy $12,000 prize pool, live streaming and big crowds.
"The effort it takes to put on such a notable event really inspires me to put on a good show," Cutler said. "I absolutely love to race, clocking in upwards of 76 races in a single season spanning seven months. To win Doylestown, especially now that it is on the PRT, requires that a rider have a skill set on par with the absolute best criterium racers in the nation."
Multi-time U.S. national criterium champion Tina Pic (Happy Tooth Pro Cycling Team) will also take the start. "I have never done this race before but I have heard it is awesome," she said. "Really great course, hill and more like a circuit race than most criteriums. I am really excited to race it."
The PRT's top men's team - UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team - and the PRT's No. 1 rider, Ty Magner, headline the field for Saturday's Reading 120 "Classic of the Americas" and the 14th edition of the Thompson Bucks County Classic on Sunday.
But standing in the way of "The Blue Train" is Robin Carpenter and his Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear. Carpenter is coming off a one-second victory at the five-day Tour of Alberta stage race. His teammate, Travis McCabe, is third in the PRT and chasing points to move up since second-placed Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) is not competing in either weekend race.
"The Reading 120 is a great showcase of the type of riding that Pennsylvania has to offer," Carpenter said. "From rolling hills in farm country, to legitimate climbs, to narrow, technical roads, the race really has it all. The course really suits a rider who is savvy and paying attention all day. Breakaways can quickly get up the road and out of sight. But the race is long enough that if you keep racing until the very end it could pay off, as other riders slowly give up. It has the making of a classic road race that rewards a well-rounded rider."
Having to compete against the links of past Tour de France riders such as Chris Horner and Danny Pate, as well as Edwin Avila - who was selected to represent Colombia in the world championships this week - will be a matter of racing strategically, Carpenter said.
"Hopefully I will be able to stay in the reduced front group until the last small lap up to the Pagoda and then play some games with my competitors," said the 24-year-old who was born in Philadelphia. "Mostly I will see an improvement from 18th place last year if I stay upright. Last year's course was very slick in the rain and it wreaked havoc on the peloton. The other thing that I can do is to wait a little longer before going on the attack and save my legs for when it really matters towards the end."
Both the Reading 120 and the Thompson Bucks County Classic races will be live streamed. For more information, go to www.reading120.com and www.buckscountyclassic.com.
Reading 120/Thompson Bucks County Classic Men's Teams:
Astellas Oncology Cycling Team
Battley Harley Davidson
Berks Regional Cycling
Bissell ABG Giant
CRCA-Lupus Racing Team
CS Velo Racing, LLC
Elevate Cycling Team
Equipe Transports Lacombe/Devinci
Foundation Elite Team
Gateway Harley Davidson/Trek U25 CT
Kelly Benefit Strategies Elite Team
Holowesko Racing Team
Lupus Racing Team
Metra/Cycles 54 Cycling Team
PushWorks Racing p/b Van Dessel
Rally Cycling Team
Ride With Rendall
Support Clean Sport/SeaSucker/Guttenplan Coaching
Team Finish Strong Elite
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Thompson Bucks County Classic sponsored by Doylestown Health Teams (partial list):
Cercacor presented by Podium Sports
Fearless Femme Racing
Happy Tooth Pro Cycling Team
ISCorp Cycling presented by SmartChoice MRI
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers presented by Van Dessel
Monster Media Racing
About The Thompson Organization:
In business since 1969, The Thompson Organization includes Thompson Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Maserati and BMW and Thompson Rent A Car, located at Routes 313 and 611 in Doylestown, as well as the Thompson Detail Center located on N. Broad Street in Doylestown, and the Thompson Collision Center located on Route 611 in Plumsteadville. For more information on the Thompson family of automotive dealerships, please visit www.1800Thompson.com.
Lexus launched in 1989 with a commitment to the Pursuit of Perfection. In its ongoing pursuit of innovation, Lexus is pushing the boundaries of technology and craftsmanship. The exciting new Lexus lineup showcases the brand's commitment to bold and dynamic design, creating a signature look and feel for the luxury brand. The combination of "aggressive elegance" and a more powerful road presence make Lexus vehicles more alluring than ever. Visit www.Lexus.com.
About Doylestown Health:
Doylestown Hospital is the flagship of the Doylestown Health system, a connected system of inpatient, outpatient and community services. Doylestown Hospital is nationally and regionally recognized for high quality and innovation. The Hospital has 232 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 425 physicians offering comprehensive healthcare services from childbirth to end-of-life care. For more information: www.dh.org.
About Eastburn & Gray:
The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn & Gray, P.C. began over 130 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As a full service firm, Eastburn & Gray attorneys practice in many diverse areas of the law, enabling us to effectively meet the needs of all clients. Learn more at www.eastburngray.com.
About the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour:
The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) showcases the premier domestic road calendar events in the U.S., including criteriums, road races, stage races and omniums. Over six months and spanning from coast to coast, the PRT will include overall individual and team rankings for men and women, crowning PRT Champions following the 26-event calendar. The Pro Road Tour features the nation¹s top Pro-Am road race events, boasts a total prize purse of more than one million dollars and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists.
About Championship Cycling, Inc.:
Championship Cycling creates and implements international bicycle races and the television productions of them. We specialize in UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour races, ones that require the highest levels of technical expertise and experience.