In the grandest traditions of commerce and American bike racing, this race has held many names in its 28-year history. These days, it's a mouthful: TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. Or otherwise, the Philly Race.
Racing on the 14.4-mile main circuit, which the men's field completes 10 times, kicks off at 10:45 A.M. and draws a crowd of around 300,000. The place to be is on the Manayunk Wall, a half-mile climb with cobble stone sections and grades as steep as 17-percent. In 2011, Philly police warned revelers that they wouldn’t tolerate excessive rowdiness. The cops have plenty to manage: Frat-party style drinking, fans dousing riders with booze, viking costumes, and plenty of house parties. Order a pint at O’Brien’s Watering Hole, at 320 Lyceum Ave., on The Wall, site of a sprinkler to cool riders. The actual racing is pretty good, too: the UCI gives the Philly Race a “1.HC” designatation, the highest category for a bike race short of a world championship or grand tour. The winner nets $13,500; you get an early-evening hangover. June 3, 2012, procyclingtour.com