Breschel wins Phila. International bike race

June 8, 2008 9:48:01 PM PDT
Matti Breschel of Team CSC overcame stifling heat and humidity to win Sunday's 24th annual Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. Nearly the entire field of racers, competing in temperatures that exceeded the 95-degree mark by early afternoon, approached the finish line in a group before Breschel used his sprinting speed to edge Kirk O'Bee of HNM Health Net. Former titlist Fred Rodriguez placed third.

Breschel's winning time of six hours, 14 minutes, 47 seconds on the 156-mile course was the slowest in the event's history. Breschel, a 24-year-old native of Denmark who called the win the biggest in his career, said the cyclists knew the weather would present a challenge.

"We were told it was going to be hot so we were preparing the whole week - drinking (fluids) and taking a lot of salt," he said.

O'Bee said the heat took its toll as the race wore on.

"There wasn't a lot of energy left because of the heat," he said. "It's funny, at the start, my teammate grabbed this big bag of ice and put it on his lap. I said, 'Hey, give me that.' We were just trying to get our core temperature down.

In the women's Liberty Classic race, Triple Crown point winner Ina Teutenberg watched as Team High Road teammate Chantal Beltman broke away in the closing mile to a six-second win in 2:28.52 over the 57.6-mile course.

Teutenberg, who wound up third on Sunday, won the first two legs of the Triple Crown earlier in the week at Lancaster and Reading and looked to be in position to win on Sunday.

But Beltman, who hails from the Netherlands, had favorable position and seemed to have the most energy as she raced alone to the finish line on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. She said the tough conditions actually worked in her favor.

"I like the heat," she said. "So it's good for me. It worked out well."

Team Tibco's Brooke Miller took second place in 2:28.58.


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