Sunday marks the 17th annual Philadelphia Liberty Classic, one of the longest-running, most prestigious women’s races in the country. Team TIBCO sends a squad of six riders, including two-time Olympian Jo Kiesanowski (NZL) and U.S. Olympic long team member Amanda Miller.
Over 100 of the world’s top female cyclists will convene in Philadelphia Sunday morning to race four laps of a 14.4-mile circuit that will include the notoriously steep and narrow climb of the Manayunk Wall. The women’s race will be held in conjunction with the men’s International Championship on the same course.
Kiesanowski and Miller will be joined by sprinters Lauren Hall, Jennifer Purcell and Samantha Schneider, as well as young climbing specialist Lindsay Myers. Kiesanowski knows what it takes to achieve a top finish at the Liberty Classic; she took second in 2009. The classics specialist and New Zealand native is a rider to watch at this year’s Classic as she gears up for the London Games.
After contesting some major national and international races this year, Megan Guarnier will take a much needed break from racing over the next couple of weeks as she gears up for Nationals and, potentially, the Olympics. Guarnier fought hard for UCI points this spring and now stands as the third-best American in the UCI rankings, behind Amber Neben and Evelyn Stevens.
Guarnier received an automatic selection to the U.S. Olympic long team after winning the famed Giro Della Toscana last year.
“Megan has been working hard since February, delivering strong results at top international races to help put the U.S. into the top five UCI-ranked countries prior to the Games and to help her own chances of making the U.S. Olympic road team,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “She’s getting a well-earned break after proving she has what it takes to compete in the Olympics.”
As of May 31, the end of the defining period for countries to accumulate UCI points, the United States stood in third place. Finishing as one of the top five UCI-ranked countries means the U.S. will be able to send the maximum allotment of four riders to compete in the Olympic road race. Lower-ranked countries will only be allowed to send three or fewer riders.
For more information on Sunday’s race, please visit: http://www.procyclingtour.com/phila-womenslibertyclassic.htm
Photo by Larry Rosa.