Taking the High Road at Championship

June 7, 2009 4:06:05 PM PDT
The 25th annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship and the 16th annual Liberty Classic races have ended. Andre Greipel and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg have been declared the winners, both of Team Columbia Highroad. RELATED VIDEO: Race to the Finish Part 1
RELATED VIDEO: Race to the Finish Part 2
RELATED VIDEO: Race to the Finish Part 3
RELATED SLIDESHOW: Pictures from the race
RELATED VIDEO: As it happened! Watch the finish of the men's race.
RELATED VIDEO: Jeff Skversky talks with women's winner Ina Teutenberg
RELATED VIDEO: John Rawlins talks to the crowd in Manayunk.
RELATED VIDEO: Watch as the men begin their portion of the race
RELATED VIDEO: Watch as the women begin their portion of the race

Andre Greipel won the men's race at 3:27 p.m.. Greg Henderson, another member of Team Columbia Highroad, finished second.

According to procyclingtour.com, Greipel had recently won three stages of the Tour of Bavaria and the team in general has been on a winning streak for much of this season, winning stages in the prestigious Tour of Italy. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, from Germany and also of Team Columbia Highroad, crossed the finish line of the woman's race around 11:40 a.m.

She had a total time of 2 hours, 22 minutes and 34 seconds.

It's her third win in Philadelphia.

Teutenberg said her teammates were working for her as the race drew to a close.

"It always seems closer than it is," said Teutenberg about the end of the race. "You can underestimate it and go to early and get caught on the line. But, it went perfect, and they brought me there, my girls."

More than 100 professional, international women cyclists competed in the 16th annual Liberty Classic.

The Liberty Classic race consisted of four laps of a 14.4-mile circuit through Philadelphia with four steep climbs up the grueling Manayunk Wall and is held during the men's International Championship on the same course.

The race began at Eakins Oval shortly after 9:00 a.m.

And even though the women started 10 minutes after the men, they managed to pass the guys. It's the first time that has happened in the 25 year history of this race.

Thousands of professional cyclists are battling the grueling, 156 mile race, which circles a 14 mile course through Philadelphia.

The men's portion of the race includes 10 laps around the course, including the brutally steep Manayunk Wall.

The 17 degree climb up Levering Street is a signature of this Philadelphia event.

If you're out and about in the city today, streets within and around the course will be closed until 4:00 this afternoon.

That includes Ridge Avenue, from School House to Hermit Lanes; Main Street from Ridge to Green Lane; Levering from Main to Towering Streets; Roxborough Avenue from Pechin Street to Manayunk Avenue; and Lyceum Avenue from Tower to Pechin Streets.

Thousands of fans have also lined the race path, cheering on the cyclists and ringing those cowbells at every turn.

Among those who lined the Manayunk Wall to watch the race were those who spend a lot of time on two wheels themselves. They know what it's like to push themselves up an unforgiving obstacle like the Wall.

"The pain. Just, knowing it on our level, which is nowhere close to theirs. A lot of pain," said Rick Grater of Harleyville, Pa.

While some focused on the bikers and their skill, others were simply taken in by the spectacle of this world-renowned event.

"It's like one long block party for a big climb, and it's hard to explain. It's just known around the country," said Eric Klotz of Roxborough.

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