Hundreds race in Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic

June 2, 2013 4:39:16 PM PDT
Hundreds of cyclists raced through Philadelphia in the first ever Parx Casino Philadelphia Cycling Classic.

The race ended along the infamous Manayunk Wall with spectators cheering on the men including winner 27-year-old pro cyclist Kiel Reijnen. He tackled 120 miles in 4 hours 35 minutes and 38 seconds.

"I think it's my fifth time doing this race and it's one of my favorites because of the crowds, they are so awesome. I didn't feel anything the last few hundred meters, just a deafening roar," said Reijnen.

It was a tough but rewarding day for those in the race. It was also quite a fun one for the thousands of people who lined the 12 mile course throughout the city.

"Oh my gosh, this is awesome. I don't know how they do it. They're crazy, it's great!" said Debbie Hazlett.

The women's race pushed off Sunday morning with cyclists making their way through five laps - 60 miles of the course.

The winner of the women's race was 30-year-old Evelyn Stevens, who finished in 2 hours, 33 minutes and 25 seconds.

Sunday's race was a welcomed sight for residents and business owners who were worried when this iconic international race was cancelled last year after 28 years because of rising costs and loss of sponsors.

That's when Congressman Bob Brady stepped in.

"It rejuvenates the neighborhood. They people love it, it's a great event and we're not going to let it fail," said Congressman Brady.

Mayor Michael Nutter was also glad to see the race back.

"Our job and responsibility is to grow it and make it bigger, better until we're back to a cycling city where we should be," said Mayor Nutter.

For the winner, who just celebrated his birthday Saturday, this win was quite a present.

"I really wanted to do something special. I'm really happy I pulled it off," said Reijnen.

Both winners are from Boulder, Colorado and each will be taking home $30,000 in prize money.


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