Congressman Brady Announces Plan for 2013 Philadelphia Bike Race

Non-Profit Formed and Race Director Selected To Bring Premier Cycling Event to Philadelphia in 2013
Congressman Robert A. Brady today announced the formation of a community-based non-profit organization to organize and host the Philly Cycling Classic, a new world-class professional cycling race in Philadelphia in 2013.  The organization was created by a mix of sports event professionals with a proven track record of hosting world class events in Philadelphia, cycling advocates, and local business and community leaders.  The team includes:

Alan Morrison, a local business leader and investor in the healthcare and endurance sports industries and a co-founder of the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon in 2005, a race that is recognized as one of the premier big city races in the world. Alan is an avid cyclist and triathlete, a lifelong Philadelphia resident, holds senior executive and governance roles in several healthcare companies, and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.
Richard Adler, the CEO of Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC, one of the leading multisport race production companies in the nation. Richard led and expanded the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon and the SheROX Triathlon Series prior to the sale of these events to Competitor Group, Inc. in 2012. Richard is a 30-year veteran of the sports industry, having worked with some of the most iconic brands and talent in global sports and has managed global sponsorship programs for Fortune 500 companies around major events including FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.

Karen Bliss, the Vice President of Marketing for Advanced Sports International (ASI), a privately held bicycle sales and distribution company headquartered in Northeast Philadelphia. A former professional cyclist, Bliss manages the global marketing for five ASI owned brands – Fuji, Kestrel, SE, Breezer and Oval Concepts as well as the Terry Precision Bicycles for Women.

Ryan Oelkers, the co-founder of the Cadence Cycling Foundation, a non-profit youth development organization that uses the sport of cycling as a means to connect with underserved youth and help them grow into healthy, happy, and responsible adults. Previously, Ryan was a professional cyclist for over 10 years, specializing in both track and road races.
Bob Clowry, a Manayunk based businessman and co-owner of Winnie’s LeBus Manayunk. A retired labor relations director, Clowry is also a certified USA Triathlon, USA Cycling and Special Olympics Aquatics coach.
Jane Lipton, Executive Director of the Manayunk Development Corporation.  A longtime Manayunk business owner and former MDC board member, Jane has been involved with the bike race since 1986 and chaired the popular “Manayunk Stroll” for four successful years.

The Philly Cycling Classic has tapped Robin Morton of G4 Productions as Race Director.  Robin is an event specialist with over 25 years experience directing major sporting events.  She has been responsible for the overall management, technical organization and competition for more than 100 international sporting events.  Robin has organized and managed professional cycling teams that have competed throughout Europe and North America.  Along with her partner Alice Armstrong and colleague Ralph Casale, G4 brings a wealth of cycling knowledge and relationships with leading professional cycling teams.

Congressman Brady began assembling this team following a planning session with this team and elected officials last Friday.  Members of City Council involved in this process are: Jim Kenney, Curtis Jones, Mark Squilla, and Dennis O’Brien.  Members of the State legislature included Senators Vincent Hughes and Anthony Hardy Williams and State Representative J.P. Miranda.

Congressman Brady said, “The Mayor has called for a premier cycling event and the team we have pulled together intends to deliver nothing less for the City of Philadelphia in 2013.  As long as there is a Wall in Manayunk there will be a world class cycling event in Philadelphia.”

“Pro cycling is an institution in Philadelphia and the goal of our group is to make sure this tradition continues in 2013,” said Morrison. “Thanks to the tremendous support of local businesses and the leadership of key government officials, our team of highly experienced, knowledgeable and passionate individuals is working hard – and we will get this done in 2013.”

Robin Morton said, “We have informed the USA Cycling Federation and the International Cycling Union of our intent to keep the June 2, 2013 date in Philadelphia for a premier cycling event and look forward to their sanctioning this event in the near future. We have informed these organizations that our vision for 2013 and beyond is a more spectator friendly and technically challenging course than past races.

Former pro-cyclist and current Executive Director of the Philadelphia-based Cadence Cycling Foundation Oelkers said:  “Shorter course circuit racing is the most popular and spectator-friendly form of bike racing in America today. We are planning an extremely fast race on a course winding through city streets where spectators get up-close and personal watching world-class athletes whizzing by.   The cycling will be fast and punishing and unfold in a fun community setting that will inspire the riders to go faster and fight harder in front of a more engaged and enthusiastic crowd.”

Jane Lipton said It is impossible to think about the bike race without thinking about Manayunk. In fact many Philadelphians commonly refer to the event as the Manayunk Bike Race and nearly every day riders can be found pitting themselves against our world famous Manayunk Wall.  The bike race came to Manayunk in 1984 and was a spark that helped ignite the reinvention of the Main Street Business district, and now 28 years later the race still remains a key economic driver.

Over the next weeks, Philly Cycling Classic will announce overall title sponsorship as well as individual race sponsors, adding other members to its board, and will be forming both a community advisory board and an advisory board of local cycling leaders to help shape and sustain this world-class event.

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