New look for 28th annual TD Bank Phila. Int'l Cycling Championship
New Gran Fondo Ride and Shortened Race Distance for 2012
For the first time in 28 years, the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, part of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), will look different to the hundreds of pro cyclists and thousands of fans who line the race course each June. This year on June 3, the race will again draw top cyclists from around the world to compete for the championship title, but it will be on a shortened, more exciting and faster course. Not only will this change increase the drama factor at the finish line, but it is also making room for a ride on this iconic course that anyone, from casual riders to serious amateurs, can try for fun before the professional race begins.
NEW CHANCE FOR ANYONE TO RIDE THE PRO COURSE & RIDE FOR A CAUSE
Pro Cycling Tour, organizers of the TD Bank bike race, has teamed up with Bicycling magazine and Charity of Choice to create a Gran Fondo ride on Sunday, June 3. Named the Bicycling Magazine Open, this Gran Fondo or “Big Ride” allows every rider to feel like a pro as they challenge themselves to all or parts of the 14.7 mile course for up to three laps. Not only will riders experience the rush of being on a closed, professionally timed race course, but many are choosing to turn their rides into fundraisers for their favorite charities through the event’s collaboration with Charity of Choice.
Organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of the Greater Delaware Valley, Cradles to Crayons, Cadence Cycling Foundation, Philabundance, Ronald McDonald House, Philadelphia 9/11, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Philadelphia, Neighborhood Bike Works and Gearing Up have all signed on to mobilize their friends and supporters to ride for their causes. So far, more than 40 organizations and individuals have opted to fundraise through the Bicycling Magazine Open and have exceeded $14,000 in monies pledged with just over two weeks to go.
"We're excited to welcome the Bicycling Magazine Open this year,” said David Chauner, president of Pro Cycling Tour and co-founder of the Philly race. “The hope is that one day it will be a huge event with 10,000 people riding the world-famous course, raising money for their favorite charity and then enjoying an afternoon of world-class cycling. I think with the new bike paths and the amateur race, this will boost Philadelphia to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States," he said.
NEW DISTANCE & FINISH LINE EXPERIENCE
To make room for the Bicycling Magazine Open, Pro Cycling Tour has altered the iconic course for the first time ever – bringing the total distance to 124 miles instead of 156, decreasing the number of times up the Manayunk Wall from 10 to seven, and significantly increasing the speed, adrenaline and excitement at the end of the race with five finishing circuits between Logan Circle and Lemon Hill.
ONGOING NEED TO MONETIZE THE RACE’S BUSINESS MODEL
Many of this year’s changes, such as the addition of the Bicycling Magazine Open and the recently launched “Embrace the Race” initiative, which features the sale of exclusive “Embracelets” by local Philadelphia merchants and restaurants, were introduced to address the need to change the business model of the race to match current economic realities.
“Rising costs and difficulty securing new and incremental sponsorships in a tough economy are two major challenges that the race faces,” said Chauner. "The important consideration is that the race has always been free to the public and we’d like to keep it that way. New ways of monetizing this free international event for spectators and guests must be pursued. The 'Embrace the Race' campaign allows people to share a small amount of money and show their support in the community and the fees for the Bicycling Magazine Open help to defray costs.”
To purchase an Embracelet wrist band for $5, visit http://procyclingtourshop.com.
Complete information on the Bicycling Magazine Open, including entry fees and registration directions, can be found on the official website for the 2012 TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship www.procyclingtour.com.
To purchase VIP tickets, visit http://www.procyclingtour.com/2011Hospitality.htm.
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This Article Updated May 31, 2012 @ 08:58 AM For more information contact: