A wild sprint to a win; a calm day up at The Wall

    Check below to see how to submit your race photos

    3:29 p.m.

    With the men’s race over, and the Wall conquered for another year, Main Street in Manayunk is open again and back to normal, as the other roads closed because of the race.

    In the women’s Liberty Classic race earlier today, Giorgia Bronzini won, continuing the domination of foreign riders in the event. The Italian sprinter beat out Aerican Shelley Olds (Diadora – Pasta Zara) in the bunch sprint. Coming in third was Jennifer Purcell of the Connecticut-based Danbury Audi squad.

    2:59 p.m.

    Alex Rasmussen of the HTC-High Road cycling team won the race in a frantic sprint to the finish line on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 2:59 p.m.

    The final lap featured wild action with a huge crash involving a dozen riders on Logan Circle right before the dash to the finish line.

    The three riders who had led the breakaway group for hours gave up, and left the final two miles to the sprinters as they went up Lemon Hill for the last time.  The team nature of the sport became clear in the final miles as racers from different teams took point for a while before yielding to the best sprinters on their teams.

    The winning race time of 5:59:45 trumped last year’s winning 6 hours and 15 minutes. The cool weather must have helped.

    2:07 p.m.    OK, the bike race isn’t supposed to make you cry (unless maybe you’re a rider on your 10th ascent of the Wall), but Andrea Panchok-Berry’s first experience as a spectator did get her choked up.

    The Penn State doctoral student (in statistics, “I like numbers,” she says) is watching her first race today, after moving to East Falls with her fiance in 2010.  She loves biking along the Wissahickon.

    Knowing what it takes to bike long distances gives her an appreciation for what the competitors are doing today, traversing 156 bumpy, often uphill miles in one day.

    “The first time I saw it it was almost like tear jerking becase they are so incredibly talented,” she said.

    She’s been clocking times and gaps between clusters of cyclists all day (that numbers thing, remember?) and she says the time intervals between the leaders and the pack has been shrinking significantly in the last hour.

    1:40 p.m.  So far, the cowbells-but-no-chaos plan for race day in Manayunk and Roxborough seems to be working.  NewsWorks’ Aaron Moselle is on the “behavior beat” today up in the ‘Yunk, and he reports it’s not an open-air bacchanal right now.

    Aaron talked to the Rev. Bob Hopkins of Bethany Lutheran Church on Martin Street, and the pastor said the crowd definitely does seem “tamer,” the least rowdy scene he’s seen in 12 years of watching the race.  Liquor control agents remain out in force.

    1:10 p.m. NewsWorks freelancer Max Matza has found a Manayunk family that has watched the race from their Levering Street home for 27 years. Check back tomorrow for that story.

    11:40 a.m. $10 Haircuts outside The Chop Shop on Main Street for the bike race. The Colinizers are also performing outside the shop.

    10:50 a.m. About 25 liquor enforcement officers are making their rounds through Main Street. Quite the spectacle! The officers stopped at every restaurant to make sure they all had up to date liquor licenses and that they weren’t serving alcohol before 11 a.m.

    10:15 a.m. Just saw Councilman Jones grabbing lunch at Winnie’s LeBus on Main Street in Manayunk.

    9 a.m. Fans are lining up along Main Street and Lyceum Avenue in Manayunk and Roxborough with coffee and cowbells in hand. Liz Macoretta, executive director of West Mt. Airy Neighbors, was one of the first to set up on the sidelines of The Wall with Deirdre Cosgrove and Muire Cosgrove to cheer on Muire’s husband in the grueling wellness challenge.  As the crew made their way up the hill, some shouted “anyone have a beer?” and “I did the Iron Man; I thought this was supposed to be easy!”

    6 a.m. The 27th annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship is finally here. It’s a bit cloudy out there and the weather forecast is calling for isolated thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 80s today. All designated streets have been closed off and police in Manayunk have been out in full force all weekend, ready to combat public drunkenness. NewsWorks is off to check out the ambitious crew participating in the Wellness Challenge at 7:15 a.m. We’ll see how many of them have what it takes to tackle the legendary Manayunk Wall before the pros get their shot at it.


    We want to see what you see — whether you’re in Fairmount Park or at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or standing along the “Manayunk Wall,” whether you’re attending the men’s race or the women’s race. Please share your photos with the NewsWorks audience.

    Four ways to submit your photos:

    In the photo gallery: Submit directly to the slide show above.
    On Twitter: Tweet your pictures to us @NewsWorksWHYY.
    On Facebook: Post them to our page or tag NewsWorks in your Facebook bike race photos.
    Email photos to us at newsworks@whyy.org.


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