By press release
Commerce Bank, “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” has announced that it is stepping in as the title sponsor to help continue America’s biggest and richest cycling week and a long-standing Philadelphia region tradition held each June. The Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling, Benefiting Fox Chase Cancer Center, will include three international professional cycling races: the Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, the Reading Classic and the Philadelphia International Championship
The 156-mile Philadelphia race, held annually since 1985, is ranked as one of the top ten bicycle races in the world. The event also is the longest single-day professional cycling race in America.
“As metro Philadelphia’s hometown bank, Commerce is pleased to take a lead role in helping to preserve this outstanding series of pro-cycling events that showcase the world’s best cyclists and this great region” said Commerce Bank Founder and Chairman Vernon W. Hill. “We know the world’s premier cyclists and their fans have flocked to this area to enjoy the exciting races for more than a generation, and we are proud to be involved in the continuation of this outstanding international athletic competition.”
Commerce Bank, the Triple Crown of Cycling title sponsor for at least the next four years, joins the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to continue and expand the race series. “We congratulate Commerce Bank for stepping in to help preserve this great community asset,” said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. “Thanks to Commerce Bank’s support, this series of outstanding pro cycling races will continue to excite fans from across our state and the nation and benefit the region’s local economy in many ways.”
“On behalf of Pro Cycling Tour, we can candidly say that without our Governor’s leadership in recognizing the importance of this event to the region and to the country, we would not be able to boast that Pennsylvania is the epicenter of American pro cycling,” stated David Chauner, Director of Pro Cycling Tour, producers of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling.
This year’s Commerce Bank Triple Crown will anchor a host of cycling and community events that are scheduled for Lancaster on Sunday, June 4; Reading on Thursday, June 8; and Philadelphia on Sunday, June 11.
The focal point in each city will be international professional men’s and women’s road races featuring 300 elite racers from around the United States and more than 20 other nations. Ancillary events will include amateur category 1 and 2 races in Reading and Lancaster, a Junior Pro Cycling Tour race in Philadelphia and an amateur time trial and climb up the Manayunk Wall, the infamous steep hill on Philadelphia’s championship course.
Recreational cyclists get their chance to tackle the Manayunk “Wall” during the Pedal for Prevention Bike Ride, a non-competitive fundraising bike ride benefiting Fox Chase Cancer Center, the official charity of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown. The ride takes place on the championship racecourse in Philadelphia beginning at 7:00 a.m., Sunday, June 11. Participants can register as a team or individual at www.foxchasegiving.org/pedal.
“We’re honored to partner with Commerce Bank and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the official charity for the region’s most exciting international sporting event,” said Robert C. Young, M.D., president of Fox Chase Cancer Center. “The Commerce Bank Triple Crown provides Fox Chase a great opportunity to highlight the importance of fitness and health and it enables us to raise money in support of our 100-year-mission to reduce the burden of cancer.”
The last time Philadelphia hosted the final leg of a Triple Crown in cycling was in 1993. Lance Armstrong, a young, brash, relatively unknown cyclist who became the nation’s most famous cancer survivor, scored the impossible hat trick, taking all three races and a $1 million winner-take-all bonus. Six years later, Armstrong scored his first of seven Tour de France victories.
“Our race and the Triple Crown first defined Lance as a true champion,” said Philadelphia race co-founder Jerry Casale. “Now that the Lance era has passed, we want Pennsylvania to pick the next great American superstar.”
About Commerce Bank
Commerce Bank, “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” is a leading retailer of financial services with nearly 400 convenient stores in New Jersey,New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia and southeast Florida. In early 2006, J.D. Power and Associates ranked Commerce Bank highest in Customer Satisfaction in New York.
Commerce plans to build 65+ new stores and create 1,800 career opportunities in 2006. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., Commerce Bancorp (NYSE: CBH) has $40.8 billion in assets and, in first quarter 2006, achieved a 28% increase in core deposits, a 36% increase in net loans and total asset growth of 28%. For more information about Commerce, please visit the company’s interactive financial resource center at commerceonline.com or call 888-751-9000.
About Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as the nation’s first cancer hospital. In 1974, Fox Chase became one of the first institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. Fox Chase conducts basic, clinical, population and translational research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox of Chase activities, visit the Center’s web site at www.fccc.edu or call 1-888-FOX CHASE.
About Pro Cycling Tour
The Commerce Triple Crown of Cycling is managed by Pro Cycling Tour, LLC of Norristown, PA. For the latest news on all three races, go to www.procyclingtour.com.