Rally Cycling will field two teams at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic held on Sunday in Pennsylvania. Danny Pate will lead the squad for the men's UCI 1.1 race and Heather Fischer will lead the team for the Women's WorldTour event.
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic was first held for the men 1985 and for the women in 1994. For decades the races saw primarily sprinters take the wins on a flat finish on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For the past three consecutive editions, the race has finished on the circuit's decisive 17 per cent climb, Manayunk Wall, which caters to punchy climbers. The 19.7km circuit also includes climbs over Strawberry Mansion and Lemon Hill, and flat sections along Kelly Drive.
On the men's side, Pate will lead the team through the nine-lap, 178km race. He will be joined by Rob Britton, Adam De Vos and Jesse Anthony, who placed second in 2013, Will Routley and Tom Zirbel, Shane Kline and Pierrick Naud.
The women will race for six laps, totalling 118km and Fischer predicts that it will be a challenging race, partly because of the difficult course and also given that the race marks the ninth round of the new Women's WorldTour.
"It's going to be a hard race," said Fischer, who won a stage at the Tour of the Gila and the points classification. "We showed in California that we can compete with the WorldTour teams and the tough finish in Philly is well suited for us. I am a bit tired after California and Nationals but my legs feel good. I would love to put Rally Cycling on the podium at such a prestigious event."
The women's team will also include Redlands Bicycle Classic Queen of the Mountains winner Sara Poidevin, Katherine Maine, 2015 Junior World Time Trial silver medallist, Emma White, Jessica Prinner and Hannah Ross.
"The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic will be another chance for the women of Rally Cycling to test themselves against the best teams in the world," said Team Director Pat McCarty.
"Philadelphia is one of the keystone events on the calendar and we are coming in with some momentum after a frustrating Tour of California but followed by a successful national championships. We are looking to have a strong race and give our young riders another chance to compete at the highest level."
On Cyclingnews, you can watch live streaming of both the men's UCI 1.1 event beginning at 8 a.m. and the Women's WorldTour event at 12:30 p.m. EST.