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The State Trooper ceremony
By Tim Maloney After 21 years, the USPRO Championships has showed remarkable continuity that has...
By Tim Maloney
After 21 years, the USPRO Championships has showed remarkable continuity that has brought the Philadelphia event worldwide status as one of the top one-day cycling events worldwide. One reason is that the sponsor has remained the same over the last two decades, first via local Core States Bank, then regional First Union, which merged with North Carolina based Wachovia, one of the largest banks in the United States. Robin Morton, Technical Director of race organizer Threshold Sports told Cyclingnews Monday, "We were thrilled to see that the Wachovia USPRO Championships enjoyed the largest spectator total in years. The Philadelphia Police Department estimated that there were 600,000 people watching the race along the course, not to mention the six hour live broadcast on WPVI-TV. Jerry Casale (Threshold co-founder) and I thought the great weather and super-competitive field of athletes with six ProTour teams really brought the crowds out. In fact, we had record crowds at our Wachovia races in Lancaster and Trenton and it was great to see an American team like Health Net make a clean sweep. And I must say that Chris Wherry has worked so hard during his career and he really deserved to win in Philly Sunday."
In a special ceremony post-race, the likeable Casale became an honorary Georgia State Trooper as Lieutenant David Cody of the Georgia State Patrol awarded the Philly native Casale the seldom awarded honor. "I met Jerry when he and the Threshold people came to Georgia and we hit it off right away. I'm proud to award this [honorary Georgia State Trooper certificate] to him and he's the best bike race organizer in the 'States." A choked up Casale jokingly asked if he could now get out of speeding tickets in Georgia, then replied with gratitude to Lt. Cody, saying that the Georgia State Patrol had done an exemplary job and he was proud to work with them again anytime. Both Casale and Morton also told Cyclingnews that despite rumours to the contrary, they were now focusing on making the upcoming San Francisco Grand Prix on September 4th a major success. "We've reached an agreement on police services costs with the City of San Francisco and hope to announce a title sponsor soon for San Francisco," said Casale.