By Mark Zalewski in Philadelphia, PA
With 191 starters, consisting of more than 40 riders from top European teams, including ProTour teams like CSC, Discovery Channel and Saunier Duval-Prodir, the 2005 Wachovia USPRO Championship is shaping up to be a action-packed race for the stars and stripes jersey of USPRO champion. And as it has every year, the Manayunk Wall will play a decisive role in who deserves to be crowned USPRO champion.
The uniqueness of having an 'open' championship means that the spectators not only get to see the best that their domestic racing scene has to offer, but also some of the best racers in the world, particularly Americans based in Europe. For every American pro, this race is a dream - either for starting a career or capping off a successful one. "This race is one of the reasons why I started bike racing," said CSC's Bobby Julich. Even though the veteran pro has finished on the podium in the Tour de France and the Olympics, this race has eluded him over his career. "To win the national championship would be awesome - it's one of the things left on my 'to do' list for my career." Julich, who has spent the time since Georgia training at altitude out west, will have a strong CSC team behind him again this year.
Cyclingnews will be covering the USPRO Championship live from start to finish, beginning at 9:00am EDT (06:00 PDT (USA West)/15:00 CEST (Central Europe)/23:00 AEST (Australia East) on Sunday.
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