The streets of Pennsylvania will see a top international field for the 10th annual Univest Grand Prix on September 8-9. The Univest Corporation and Sparta Cycling, Inc., organisers of the Univest Grand Prix, have named several Professional teams who will take part in the 107.3-mile road race in Souderton, and the criterium in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The Navigators Insurance and Slipstream-Chipotle squads will help fill the 180 field. Also invited are top UCI pro teams from Mexico, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Columbia, and Canada.
Italian team Kio Ene-Tonazzo, a feeder team for top European pro team Acqua Sapone, the German Team Sparkasse team, P-Nivo Betonexpressz 2000 from Hungary, Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara from Mexico, Caico Cycling team from Colombia, and Equipe Vallee de 'Laluminium de Vinci from Canada will add an international flavor to the event.
Slipstream will be led by Pat McCarty, who took second at the 2007 U.S. Open Cycling Championships in April, and former world U-23 time trail champion Danny Pate. "Pate is a heavy favorite," said race director John Eustice. "This race really suits him. But it's not a given that Navigators or Slipstream will win. We have 12 or 13 power teams coming. That's a lot. Any one of them could win the Univest Grand Prix."
"This is an event very much focused on a North American cycling class," said Eustice. "We have the best racers in all of North America coming. That includes Mexico and Canada, with racers like Canadian Martin Gilbert, from the Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast team who just won the US pro criterium title, Fausto Munoz from the Mexican Tecos team, who won the most aggressive rider award at last year's Univest Grand Prix, and Dominic Rollin, a powerful French Canadian sprinter who races for the Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada Brewing Company team. The race roster is loaded. It's going to be a good race."
Other invited teams include Martin Gilbert's Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast team and Dominique Rollin's Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada Brewing Company team. The Rite Aid team, in ninth in US Pro Tour standings just three points behind Slipstream, brings Argentinian Alejandro Borrajo to the race. Eustice describes Borrajo, an excellent sprinter who finished fifth overall in the points competition in the 2004 Giro d'Italia, as "the most dangerous rider in the race."
The Univest Grand Prix is a stop on the prestigious UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Pro Tour. Modeled after the one-day classics of Europe, the 107.3-mile road race opens with a 68-mile loop traversing 18 municipalities throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties before hitting the decisive finishing circuits in Souderton. The next day's circuit race, the Univest Grand Prix of Doylestown, will be held on an expanded 1.4-mile course that encircles the historic Victorian town and highlights its arts festival. Both races feature gruelling but exciting uphill finishes.
The races will be complemented by a broad array of community events and activities. The popular Cyclosportif 100K recreational ride will return on Saturday, September 8, giving participants an opportunity to challenge themselves on the racecourse of the Univest Grand Prix.
2007 Univest Grand Prix Team Roster
UCI Professional Continental teams:
Navigators Insurance (USA)
Team Slipstream (USA)
UCI Continental teams:
Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (Mexico), Kio Ene-Tonazzo (Italy), Team Sparkasse (Germany), P-Nivo Betonexpressz 2000 (Hungary), Caico Cycling (Colombia), Equipe Vallee de 'Laluminium de Vinci (Canada)
AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork (USA), Colavita-Sutter Home (USA), Jittery Joe's (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast (USA), Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada (USA), Rite Aid (USA), Team Nerac (USA), Toyota-United (USA)
International Amateur teams:
CRCA/Sakonnet Technology (USA), Fiordifrutta (USA), TIME Factory Development Team (USA), CRCA/Empire (USA), GS Mengoni (USA), Cycling Center (Belgium), CCB/Volkswagon (USA), Meredith Group-GPOA-Cannondale (USA), PA Lightning (USA), Jet Fuel Coffee (Canada)