Women's WorldTour hits The Wall for the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic - Preview

The women's field bunch up with a break up the road.

The women's field bunch up with a break up the road. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)

Riders push forward amongst an anxious peloton, manoeuvring into position along the uphill drag on Main Sreet Manayunk, arguably the most decisive section of the race circuit. The first few riders take the right-hander onto Levering Street. They dive through the shadowy, chicane-like cobbled Cresson Street, and pass underneath the train trestle hovering above. The corners are tight, and the peloton slows to get through them safely, but history (mixed with instinct) has proven the first riders into the left-hander back on Levering Street will have the clearest shot at the victory. The frontrunners emerge from under the tracks above, into the sunlight, and they hit The Wall. The road pitches up, and then again. There's loud music and ear-piercing screams from hoards of the liveliest fans in American bike racing, beating on the roadside fencing. Red plastic cups, littered and rolling down the 17 per cent incline. There’s the smell of warm beer and BBQ. Halfway up, a watering hose sprays cold across the road, over the riders, cutting the humidity ever so slightly. The organisers, media, photographers and fans wait in suspense at the top -- Who will win the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic?

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