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Ukrainians back to face stronger field at 2010 Univest Grand Prix

The defending champions are back, but will face a much tougher domestic field this year in Pennsylvania

Two Ukrainians, riding for an Italian team with U.S. ties, are back in Pennsylvania this weekend as Volodymyr Starchyk and Yuri Metlushenko (Amore & Vita) look to defend their Univest Grand Prix titles. Along with 2008 road race winner Lucas Euser (Spidertech-Planet Energy), the Amore & Vita duo headline the preliminary startlist at a new-look Univest, but will find a much tougher path to the podium this year.

(Related: Preliminary startlist)

Without the Tour of Missouri to compete against on the calendar, Univest sees a resurgence this weekend as many of the top U.S. pros look for a last minute tune-up ahead of the national championships. Frank Pipp and the Jacques-Maynes brothers lead Bissell into the two-day event. Alex Candelario and Jesse Anthony join nationals TT podium contender Scott Zwizanski on the Kelly Benefit Strategies roster, while strongman Ryan Roth compliments Euser at Spidertech.

Karl Menzies and Rory Sutherland join Marc de Maar in his last U.S. race with UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis and a number of strong international units, including Global Dutch, Cykelcity and Team New Zealand (for whom local boy Bobby Lea is riding) will be at the start of the UCI 1.2 road race Saturday and the national calendar criterium Sunday.