By Kirsten Robbins in Souderton, Pennsylvania
The 11th annual Univest GP is set to kick off on Saturday September 6 in Souderton, Pennsylvania. It is one of few UCI sanctioned events held in the US, typically attracting a large contingent of international riders. Amongst the stellar field assembled this year is the defending champion Will Frischkorn, who without a doubt will want to claim a second consecutive victory.
Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O is the only UCI professional continental team and fresh off a successful debut in Tour de France. Frischkorn's team-mates include Blake Caldwell, runner up at the USPRO Championships, Tom Danielson and Tyler Farrar. However, the long-running event also attracts 150 riders from 20 different countries.
"We've gone for few but better riders this year and I think we have a very comparable field," said John Eustice, event promoter regarding the international peloton. "We are trying to make a jewel of a race, maybe not ProTour, but something exciting and interesting to watch."
Other foreigners include Canada-based teams Race Pro, Calyon Pro Cycling and Jet Fuel Coffee, the Italy-based Amore & Vita - McDonalds, Mexico's Tecos de la Universidad, Johan Bruyneel Cycling Academy from Belgium, the Germany-based Sparkasse team and CSC's feeder team from Switzerland, Cykelcity. US-based teams include Kelly Benefit-Strategies-Medifast, Team Type 1, DLP-Racing, CRCA-Empire, Jittery Joe's Cycling team and Toshiba among others.
"The top young elite and international teams are present," continued Eustice. "We are very television oriented and the idea is to create an event that makes exciting television. When we pull young and hungry riders together, they really go for it."
Aside from television, the event has also typically been important for the younger riders and amateurs looking for a professional contract. As a race of attrition, it has been used to scout out the next crop of talented racers.
Click here to read the full preview of the Univest GP.