By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
For the past few months, Cyclingnews has followed the progress of the Philadelphia week of races. Now known as the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling, factors such as a title sponsor, team payments and other hurdles have all been overcome. However, one important factor remained - UCI classification of the new race in Reading that replaces the Trenton race. But as of Wednesday, that final hurdle seems to be in the past.
"This was not a simple matter of switching the Thursday race from Trenton, NJ to Reading, PA," said Pro Cycling Tour's Chief Operating Officer Jerry Casale in a statement. "The UCI needs to be certain that road closure approvals and adequate safety precautions are in place. We worked closely with Reading city officials to make sure they were completely pleased with the plan before we submitted it. Considering that we confirmed Reading as the June 8 venue late last month, this was done in record time."
With UCI status of 1.1, the ProTour teams that have confirmed to attend the other two races, Saunier Duval-Prodir and Team CSC, will now be allowed to participate in the Reading race.
While many a sprinter will undoubtedly shed a tear when comparing the flat course profile of the former Trenton race to the new Reading course, the racing will still appeal to a variety of racers. "The Reading course will favour the strong power climbers," said Pro Cycling Tour technical director, Ron Ruggiero. "Add Lancaster as a tough technical course and Philly as the one that favours good all rounders who can go the longer distance and you have three very different races."