The 2009 Univest podium (l to r): Patrik Stenberg (CykekCity), Volodymyr Starchyk (Amore & Vita) and Philipp Mamos (Amore & Vita).
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Shorter, more technical circuit on tap for this weekend's ProAm
The 2010 Univest Grand Prix scheduled for 11, 12 September pits top North American cycling teams against a strong contingent of rising international stars on a tough and technical new racecourse in Souderton, PA.
Previously, Univest's long road race catered to climbers, but this year's edition features a new shorter course; 11 laps on a 5.8 mile course followed by 5 finishing laps on a 3.8 mile course.
The new course gives fans 32 chances to see the peloton (from one location) is described as technical with short punchy climbs, which will likely favor a cagey all-round rider rather than a pure climber.
Saturday's UCI 1.2 race is the final stop on the UCI America Tour Calendar and also part of the USA Cycling Pro Tour calendar.
"The old course was great: it was long, it was hard, it was tough," said Joe McDermott, Univest media director to BikeRadar. "It forced these guys to muscle up a lot of hills. It was a romantic recreation of a great European one-day, but that really doesn't fly with American fans. American fans want the action right there in front of them. It would be akin to going down to the Eagles game watching the kick off, seeing both teams run out of the stadium only to come back at the end of the fourth quarter with a score of 33, nothing and you don't know how it got there (McDermott paraphrased this analogy from John Eustice the president of Sparta Cycling, Inc and promoter of the Univest Grand Prix)."
This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Doylestown criterium, which offers 50 miles of fast-paced, circuit-style racing on a 1.4-mile course on Sunday.
Italy's Amore & Vita team, with Ukranians Volodymyr Starchyk and Yuri Metlushenko – winners of the 2009 Souderton and Doylestown races, respectively – and Spidertech powered by Planet Energy's Lucas Euser, the 2008 winner in Souderton are among the cyclists returning to challenge a strong roster of international teams.
"We are delighted to have Dutch amateur road champion Peter van Agtmaal, Swedish U23 and Elite Criterium Champion Jonas Ahlstrand, and a very talented and accomplished field led by Australian Rory Sutherland of United Healthcare, and Americans Ben Jacques-Maynes of Bissell Pro Cycling and Scott Zwizanski of Kelly Benefits Strategies – who are all ranked in the top 10 on the National Racing Calendar series," said Eustice. "It's the type of field that will really entertain the fans and demonstrate that the Univest Grand Prix continues to one of the most hard fought and exciting races of the year."
The Amore & Vita team is returning to the Univest Grand Prix with hopes to repeat last year's sweep of all stages and final classification. The Italian team, however, will face tougher competition this year from North American UCI Continental teams including -- United Healthcare, Jamis Sutter Home/Colavita, Kelly Benefits Strategies, Bissell Pro Cycling and team Spidertech powered by Planet Energy.
International Elite Teams include Sweden's Cykelcity, overall winners in 2008, Global Cycling Promotion Team from Holland, and Team New Zealand Pro Racing. Other Elite teams include Bikyle Mazur Coaching, Jet Fuel and Team Tour de Quebec, all from Canada; and Team New Zealand Pro Cycling.
Domestic Elite Teams include Team CCNS, Metlife presented by GroSolar, Team Hotel San Jose/Juwi Solar, Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team, CCB Racing, CRCA Foundation, Axa Equitable, Battley Harley-Davidson, Alliance Environmental, Champion System Racing/Cycle Gladiator Wines, PA Lightning, Haymarket Bicycles and Bikereg.com/Cannondale. A full race roster will be available on the Univest website later this week.
Saturday's road race will be broadcast live on WNPV-1440 AM radio and on WFMZ-69 television and www.wfmz.com
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