Organisers of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of cycling, in and around Philadelphia, USA in the first week of June, have announced the bulk of the teams for the US$100,000 in prizes for three races – $10,000 of which goes solely to the series winner.
Leading the pack are two ProTour teams, High Road and Team CSC, both having sponsorship interest in North America. High Road’s Bernhard Eisel won the overall last year, winning the first two races in Lancaster and Reading, and finishing third in the field sprint in the final race in Philadelphia. CSC’s sprinter JJ Haedo took that field sprint, adding to his success in America.
Also packing a punch will be the Slipstream-Chipotle team as it prepares for its Tour de France debut. Not to be discounted are top domestic teams, including Health Net-Maxxis which won many races in its history, including two by Kiwi Greg Henderson in 2006, which helped secure his current place on High Road. Toyota-United will be another to watch with sprinter Ivan Dominguez, B world champion Ivan Stevic and Canadian Dominique Rollin. This could be the first opportunity for JJ Haedo’s younger brother Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) winner of the recent US Air Force Classic, to go head-to-head with big bro.
The Canadian Symmetrics team with last year’s UCI America Tour winner Svein Tuft will be on hand again representing one of seven international teams, with two more to be determined. Two European teams are making the trip across the pond, including Ireland’s new Pezula Racing team and Team Sparkasse from Germany. Tecos-Trek will also be competitive, having recently won the Tour of the Gila overall last week.
The three-race series begins June 3 with a new race, the Lehigh Valley Classic, which replaces the Lancaster venue. The parcours features an 136km, 12-lap circuit race that races through Allentown. Two days later, the third edition of the Reading Classic features three times up Mt. Penn. Finally, the 24th annual Philadelphia International Championship features 250km and ten ascents of the infamous 18 percent grades of the Manayunk Wall.
Live coverage of all three events, as well as the women’s Liberty Classic, can be seen on Cyclingnews.com.