The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic kicked off at City Hall on Friday afternoon with remarks from race organizers, representatives from the city of Philadelphia and cyclists themselves.
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This year’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic will feature a renewed focus on women cyclists. The Women’s World Cup Race is returning to Philadelphia for the first time in 14 years. And for the first time ever, that race will the feature of the day.
The race will be open to amateur riders from 6:45 to 8 a.m. for a recreational ride on the 12.3 mile circuit. (Rumor has it Lisa Nutter will be among the participants.) The ride will start and finish at Sedgley Drive and Lemon Hill Drive and riders will be allowed to make as many laps as possible.
The Men’s Race will take begin at 8 a.m. and will include nine laps for a total 110.7 miles/173 km. It will end at noon.
The Women’s World Cup Race will begin at 12:30 p.m., and will include six laps for a total of 73.8 miles/115km. It will end at 3:45 p.m.
Mayor Michael Nutter talked fondly of his recent visit to France to meet with Union Cycliste International’s President Brian Cookson to discuss adding the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic back into the UCI World Cup series. Nutter was also on hand to witness Le Tour de France.
Nutter emphasized that the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic was one more notch on the city’s biking record, citing the recently-launched bikeshare system Indego, the number of Philadelphians who choose to bike to work and the city’s expanding bike lane system.
Manayunk native and bike race participant Robin Carpenter also spoke.
“You know, this race has had many names and sponsors over the years,” he said, referencing the race’s turbulent recent history. “But where I’m from, it’s the Manayunk Bike Race.”