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by Mark Zalewski
February 8, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Bicycle Coalition hopes to save cancelled Philly Cycling Classic with petition; Abuse of power in women’s cycling, an all too familiar story: Bridie O’Donnell; Jolien Verschueren ends season early; Corné van Kessel extends for two years; 1956 Tour de France winner Roger Walkowiak dead at 89; Former Australian track athlete says ‘experimental surgeries’ left her scarred; Bicycles shown in six Super Bowl advertisements; Teaser video for UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships; Peter Sagan training for the win; Video: Underwater spinning.
Last week, the City of Philadelphia announced that the annual Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, a Women’s WorldTour event, will “take a break” in 2017 due to a lack of funding. The race featuring the infamous Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill has been an iconic event in American racing since 1985. And, since gaining World Cup and Women’s WorldTour status, it has also been a rare opportunity for American fans to watch cycling’s biggest stars on home turf.
The news was met with disappointment and sadness from the cycling community, so much so that Philadelphia’s Bicycle Coalition has launched a petition, asking the Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney to “find a way” to bring back the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, slated for June 4. The petition, which has been spread online by professional race teams and local Philadelphians alike, is nearing 2000 supporters at the time of publication, and many left encouraging and touching messages as to why they would like to see the event saved.
“The professional bike race in Philadelphia has been a June tradition for me and my family for nearly 30 years. A great expression of community spirit and an incredibly entertaining sporting event, and one more reason to spend a weekend in one of America’s most historic cities. Please don’t let this tradition die!” writes one supporter.
These kind of messages is exactly what the Bicycle Coalition is trying to collect, said the Coalition’s Executive Director, Sarah Clark Stuart.
“The strength of this petition is in the wonderful and positive messages we have received. It has brought together the numerous voices across the city, region and country on why the race is so loved and it explains the value of the event,” Stuart told Ella CyclingTips. “We are trying to capture the enthusiasm that’s out there about this event and about bicycling, and when we have the opportunity, we will present this to some of the decision-makers.”
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