Count down to Philly: Teams prep for a stormy day

Photo gallery: Mechanics prepare for the TD Bank Philadelphia International

Philadelphia is a town that loves its sports: the NHL Philadelphia Flyers are currently fighting in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the baseball team the Phillies has been in the World Series two years running and won in 2008, and the Eagles have been in the Super Bowl. It's no coincidence that this city is also the heart and soul of American bike racing.

The TD Philadelphia International Championship has been arguably the biggest spectator draw in North American cycling since the race began 26 years ago. Drawing close to a million spectators along the course, it is the Big Show for most domestic teams.

The race also draws top professional squads for men and women to the event, with most teams congregating at the race hotel on the day prior to the event.

For the team mechanics, it's a mad scramble to wash and maintain dozens of bikes and wheel sets and fine tune the machines for the grueling 250km race.

With the weather predicting an 80% chance of rain, the choice of equipment for the race, which features one screaming fast descent from the Manayunk wall with several fast turns, will be critical.

Cyclingnews spotted several teams lined up along a side street with the contents of the trucks spewed out onto the pavement in various forms of organization. It's a system only the mechanic can keep up with, so we'll let the photos do the talking.

Enjoy the gallery here.

Author: Cycling News
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