PHILADELPHIA (VN) — The Philadelphia International Cycling Championship will not be held in 2013, organizers announced Sunday.
“We are disappointed that we must remove the race from the calendar in 2013, but we feel that we will be able to reorganize with new partners and make this the preeminent event the region deserves in 2014 and beyond,” said David Chauner, a former Olympic cyclist and one of the creators of the event.
The race debuted in 1985 as the CoreStates USPRO Championship, won by Eric Heiden. It was the first official U.S. national road racing championship for 20 years and quickly became one of Philadelphia’s biggest special events, drawing top racers from 30 nations, huge crowds and a national television audience.
The 156-mile, six-hour race was held on a 14.5-mile course designed to showcase the city, including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount Park, Lemon Hill and the hillside neighborhood of Manayunk.
The race is perhaps best known for the steep, half-mile climb dubbed the “Manayunk Wall,” which became an international icon for cycling fans and contributed to the economic revival of the Manayunk community.
CoreStates Financial Corp, a regional bank, became the first title sponsor. As it acquired smaller banks throughout the region, CoreStates supported events in Lancaster and in Freehold and Trenton, New Jersey, that became known as “Philly Week.”
In all, CoreStates committed to 20 years of sponsorship, surviving acquisitions by First Union and Wachovia. In 2006, Commerce Bank, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under Gov. Ed Rendell and the City of Philadelphia, replaced Wachovia as sponsor of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of races in Reading, Allentown and Philadelphia.
TD Bank acquired Commerce and took over as title sponsor in 2009, scaling back Philly Week from a three-event series to the one-day Philadelphia Championship.
Aleksandr Serebryakov (Team Type 1-Sanofi) won the 2012 edition.