On Saturday, September 10, CyclingTips will be hosting a live-stream broadcast of the next UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour event, the Reading 120 presented by Reading Health System.
The 200-kilometer (120-mile) race will include nearly 10,000 feet of climbing, as well as a finish inspired by the Olympic road race course in Rio de Janeiro.
“This course is harder than the 2015 version thanks to eight tough climbs,” said race director John Eustice. “And like the Rio race course that inspired it, there is a 13km downhill and flat stretch from the final summit to the finish, which guarantees a spectacular finale.”
The Reading 120 “Classic of the Americas” begins with two 45-mile opening laps that take the race from the start in Reading to Kutztown. There, its famed university will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with a sprint prize each time through the town. The village of Oley and Borough of Mount Penn will see the race pass by four and seven times, respectively. The racers will take on three laps of an eight-mile finishing circuit that peaks with the 2.5-mile climb up Mount Penn past Reading’s famed Pagoda historical landmark.
Presented by Reading Health System, the Reading 120 is in its third iteration of the Pennsylvania UCI 1.2 road race that began as the Univest Grand Prix in 1998 and continued as the Bucks County Classic in 2012 before becoming the Reading 120 last year. The event’s rich history includes providing international competition to aspiring amateurs and young professionals.
This event benefits Reading Bike Hub, a nonprofit community bike shop in Reading, Pennsylvania, that offers bike services, training opportunities, social activities and advocacy.
Hosted by Dave Towle and Emily Reppert, the broadcast will feature videos created by Dave Kline of Reading Eagle Company, live timing integration by Swagger, and live interviews with a group of community supporters.
The broadcast will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. Eastern, with opening ceremonies. A total of 26 teams have accepted invitations to the event, which begins in City Park in Reading, at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.
An awards ceremony will follow, and the broadcast should wrap up around 3:00 p.m. Eastern.
Continuing the PRT weekend will be the Thompson Criterium of Doylestown on Sunday, September 11, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. As it has since 2003, the races will encircle the Doylestown Arts Festival and be live-streamed for those who cannot enjoy the day-long action in person.
A mix of Professional Continental, national, regional and club-level squads are competing in the two days of racing on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT), the premier domestic road calendar event in the United States. Saturday’s Reading 120 is also a men’s-only, UCI 1.2 event.
The PRT’s top men’s team, UnitedHealthcare, and the PRT’s No. 1 rider, Ty Magner, headline the field for Saturday’s Reading 120 “Classic of the Americas” and the 14th edition of the Thompson Bucks County Classic on Sunday.
But standing in the way of “The Blue Train” is Robin Carpenter and his Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team. Carpenter is coming off a one-second victory at the five-day Tour of Alberta stage race. His teammate, Travis McCabe, is third in the PRT and chasing points to move up since second-placed Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) is not competing in either weekend race.
“The Reading 120 is a great showcase of the type of riding that Pennsylvania has to offer,” Carpenter said. “From rolling hills in farm country, to legitimate climbs, to narrow, technical roads, the race really has it all. The course really suits a rider who is savvy and paying attention all day. Breakaways can quickly get up the road and out of sight. But the race is long enough that if you keep racing until the very end it could pay off, as other riders slowly give up. It has the making of a classic road race that rewards a well-rounded rider.”
Having to compete against the links of past Tour de France riders such as Chris Horner and Danny Pate, as well as Edwin Avila — who was selected to represent Colombia in the world championships this week ‚ will be a matter of racing strategically, Carpenter said.
“Hopefully I will be able to stay in the reduced front group until the last small lap up to the Pagoda and then play some games with my competitors,” said the 24-year-old, who was born in Philadelphia. “Mostly I will see an improvement from 18th place last year if I stay upright. Last year’s course was very slick in the rain and it wreaked havoc on the peloton. The other thing that I can do is to wait a little longer before going on the attack and save my legs for when it really matters towards the end.”
Reading 120 Men’s Teams:
Astellas Oncology Cycling Team
Battley Harley Davidson
Berks Regional Cycling
Bissell ABG Giant
CRCA-Lupus Racing Team
CS Velo Racing, LLC
Elevate Cycling Team
Equipe Transports Lacombe/Devinci
Foundation Elite Team
Gateway Harley Davidson/Trek U25 CT
Kelly Benefit Strategies Elite Team
Holowesko Racing Team
Lupus Racing Team
Metra/Cycles 54 Cycling Team
PushWorks Racing p/b Van Dessel
Rally Cycling Team
Ride With Rendall
Support Clean Sport/SeaSucker/Guttenplan Coaching
Team Finish Strong Elite
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
For more information on the 2016 Reading 120, visit the official race website, here.