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New US road event Keystone Open aiming for UCI status

The peloton at the Philadelphia International Championship

The peloton at the Philadelphia International Championship (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Longtime US race promoter Jerry Casale lost his battle with cancer this year, but the city of Philadelphia which benefitted so much from his work will return the favour by hosting a new event called the Keystone Open on July 7, 2013.

Robin Morton of g4 productions confirmed that the event, co-organised by Casale's cousin Ralph and local organiser Ron Ruggiero, is named after the criterium run by Jerry Casale, but will be a road race aiming for UCI status.

"We all worked with Jerry for many years and thought it was a fitting name for the event," Morton said. "We have support from the City of Philadelphia. The Mayor's Office is leading the way on sustainability nationally and Mayor Nutter and his wife both ride."

The city already supports what will next year be known as the American Cycling Classic on June 2, 2013, but was formerly the TD Bank International. That race will be downgraded from 1.HC to a 1.2 UCI ranking in 2013. The UCI 1.1-ranked Liberty Classic, which was run in conjunction with the men's race, is no longer listed on the UCI's 2013 calendar, but the Keystone Open will hold a women's race.

"Philadelphia is a big sports town supporting teams in all major leagues plus several sanctioned running events so we feel it can support more than one UCI bike race."

Morton would not reveal the details about the course, but said it would be a technical circuit "with three nice climbs".

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.