By Mark Zalewski, North American editor
Slowly but surely, the now Triple Crown of Cycling, commonly referred to as Philly-week, is taking shape for 2006. A new title sponsor, Commerce Bank, was announced on Thursday and fills a major financial hole left by former sponsor Wachovia. The new sponsorship will run for at least four years and joins the state in supporting the three race venues in Lancaster, Reading and Philadelphia.
As previously reported on Cyclingnews, the UCI status of the new race in Reading is still unknown and not having the USPRO championship is affecting participation by ProTour teams, having a title sponsor will ensure the money is there to support all of the events.
"We congratulate Commerce Bank for stepping in to help preserve this great community asset," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. "Thanks to Commerce Bank's support, this series of outstanding pro cycling races will continue to excite fans from across our state and the nation and benefit the region's local economy in many ways."
"On behalf of Pro Cycling Tour, we can candidly say that without our Governor's leadership in recognizing the importance of this event to the region and to the country, we would not be able to boast that Pennsylvania is the epicenter of American pro cycling," said Threshold Sports CEO David Chauner.