Update! USPRO Photos available here.
Welcome to the live ticker for the USPRO Championship Race from Philadelphia USA.
Be sure to hit F5 to refresh the page for the latest!
The weather at the start of the race was sunny and 64 deg F. Right now the weather is 78F and partly sunny. Humidity is 55% today which is quite low for this time of the year. This is much cooler and less humid than last year.
The course consists of 10 laps of a 14.4 mile circuit. The course is generally flat with the exception of the Manayunk wall. The wall is short but has a steep 17% grade. There is one small hill, Lemon Hill, near the end of the circuit.
The race finishes in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum (made famous not by its pieces of
art, but by Sly Stallone who climbed its steps in the movie Rocky).
12:57 EDT - The situation right now: Racers are almost finished Lap 7 of 10.
12:58 - A small group is off the front.
Danny Pate, Prime Alliance in leading group with Klasna, Saturn and Peterson, Saturn. Now 30 or so riders have bridged the gap to the leaders. Phil Liggett is commentator the race for the local ABC television station!!
13:04 - About to finish 7th lap. 3 big laps to go and 3 small finishing laps after that.
Earlier in the race a break of 5 took off. They were caught on the 7th time up the Wall.
After 7 laps the average time for a lap is 32:37 (14.4 miles/lap).
Now a group of about 30 is in front. Hincapie (USPS) is in the 3rd group. It is still early so he should be able to catch up.
It appears that George looked good and relaxed on the last lap.
Including George, five former winners of the race riding today:
2001 Fred Rodriguez USA Domo
2000 Henk Vogels AUS Mercury
1998 George Hincapie USA USPS
1996 Eddy Gragus USA USPS, now riding for SIERRA NEVADA CANNONDALE
1988 Roberto Gaggioli Italy Pepsi-Fanini, now riding for SCHROEDER IRON
It's time for the big boys to get up to the front. Only 3 climbs up the Wall left.
Chris Fisher, USA of Saturn pulling the large group up to the Wall.
13:18 - On the Wall for the 8th time. Cristian Pepoli, ITA of Saeco flew up the climb and off the front.
Pepoli built a lead of 35 secs on this climb! Pepoli waits for a small group including Christian Van de Velde to join him.
Group of 30 back together again at the front.
Some of the names in the front group: Mason (Saeco), Power of Ireland, Canada's Wohlberg.
Hincapie now in the second group.
Vogels (Mercury) and Hincapie have put in a big effort but have made the front group!
13:37 - 3 Postal at the front now driving the group (Vandevelde, Zabriskie, McRae) at the end of 8th loop. Rodriguez stuck in 2nd group while Postal's now driving the front group!
Has Rodriguez missed the crucial break?
Cristian Pepoli: Born on 12th March 1978 in Cesena, Italy - rode for Cantina Tollo for two years before joining Saeco - no major success YET.
Fred at the front of the second group, trying to catch the first group.
He is making up time.
Postal still on the front driving hard toward the Wall for the 9th time. Boonen also with Hincapie in the front.
A little info on some of the riders today, courtesy of podofdonny - Chann McRae: Born 11 October 1971 in Albany, NY, USA; rode for Mapei for two years. Last victories: 1998 2 stages Motorola International Cycling.
We heard earlier today that Alan Davis, #33 of Mapei, quit in the first lap.
Postal delivering, now 1:50 between the front and Rodriguez's group.
Tom Boonen: born 15th October 1980
in Mol, Belgium; first year pro - 3rd in Paris Roubaix last year, won these prestigious events:
2001: Belgisch kampioen beloften
2001: Winnaar Gouden Ster
Rodriguez on the Wall now. He does not look good.
Max Van Heeswijk leads him to the top at back of second group!
Rodriguez has apparently been suffering some bronchitis this week. It seems to have caught up with him.
Max van Heeswijk - a legend - born 2 May 1973 in Hoensbroek, Nederland. Has ridden for 1995-1996 Motorola,
1997-1998 Rabobank, 1999-2000 Mapei - Quick Step,
2001-2002 Domo - Farm Frites.
Some other riders in the front group: Klasna (Saturn), Horner of Prime Alliance and Vogels.
Vogels holds the course record of 5:52:11 when he won the race in 2000. It doesn't appear that record will fall today.
Klasna has won: 2000: First Union Invitational,2001: Mercury Sea Otter Classic, 2001: Redlands Bicycle Classic
Fred at the back talking to his DS Henrik Redant. Will he abandon?
Meanwhile back at the front. Still 30 or so riders.
Postal DS Andreu is pleased that he has 3 or so riders in front with George. He says the race is very confusing -he doesn't know who can rival George in the front.
Henk Vogels - born 31 June in Perth, Australia,
a pro since 1995 when he joined Novell. 22 victories in his career including the 2000 edition of this race.
Lap 9 is finished and so is Freddy Rodriguez as he gets off the bike!
We will have a new US Champion today!
Could it be Hincapie? Or Klasna who came in 2nd last year? We will have a new wearer of the famous stars and stripes cycling jersey come what may today!
Soren Peterson, Saturn, opens a gap at the front. 136.5 miles in 5:01:46, now on a record pace.
Only 1 more time up the Wall, followed by 3 short laps of 3 miles up Lemon Hill.
Soren Petersen - Veteran Danish cyclist; biggest success 2000: Rund um den Flughafen Köln/Bonn
Two Posties at the front, Vandevelde and Zabriskie. They have pulled back Peterson.
Will George launch an attack this final time up the Wall?
Or will some non US rider try to sneak away to victory while the big US names watch each other?
5 Postmen leading the front just like in the tour.
14:20 - Final time up the Wall. Who will attack? Hincapie is tucked behind 4 teammates at the front.
On the Wall, Hincapie led by 2 other Postmen. Great climb by Chann McRae up the Wall. He creates a split.
In the back of the second group Lieswyn and McCormack now climbing.
Now interviewing Fred Rodriguez: he says he was hiding bronchitis and fighting it all week hoping that it would go away. He says he has incredible form, but the acute effort on the Wall was too much for his illness.
Back to the lead group. Henk Vogels is in the lead. John Wordin (DS Mercury) says he has good form.
Two Postal in the front group. Chris Wherry there too. Attacks are going left and right now. Mroz has Piatek up front too. Mark McCormack of Saturn there too.
George has McRae. Michael Barry for Postal up front too.
About 10 riders up front including Danny Pate; also Kirk O'Bee of Navigators.
Barry now driving the 15 rider front group. The winner should come from this front group.
14:37 - The tenth and last big lap is finished. 50 seconds gap to 2nd group.
Mark Walters of Navigators is in the front group.
The Postal men take turns attacking. First Barry goes. Then McRae goes.
The group catches each attacking Postman but are they softening up the group for Big George?
Some of the names in front: Vogels, Wherry for Mercury
Mark McCormack for Saturn, O'Bee, Walters for Navigators
Piatek for Mroz, Mariano Friedick of Jelly Belly, and 2 other Saturn riders as well.
14:47 - 2 small laps left to go.
Danny Pate is there in front too. Damon Kluck, USA, is one of the Saturn riders.
Barry leads up Lemon Hill. Postal seems to be trying to keep it together for a sprint. Can George win against the likes of O'Bee and Vogels?
Barry still driving.
Friedick of Jelly Belly tucked behind Barry.
14:54 - 1 small lap to go. 3 miles.
Friedick is a good sprinter. Could he be US Champ?
Last time up Lemon Hill. Last chance for an attack.
Barry has done his job and pulls off.
Group still together over the top of Lemon Hill. Postal has kept it together for George.
Danny Pate, TT champ has attacked. McRae catches him.
Walters, champ of Canada, is with the 2 as well.
Walters, Pate and McRae in the clear. Pate is forced to lead. The Canadian and Postman do not do any work.
The sprint starts.
Walters and McRae sprint it out. Walters wins!!! McRae second!!! McRae is US Champ. Pate is third who did all the work. Walters of Navigators is escatic - 16th win of his career.
The rest of the front group come in just behind.
Danny Pate makes the winning move but could not shake McRae and Walters. They let the TT champ Pate do all the work and then dusted him at the finish.
Vogels was fourth with the same time so Pate just held off the rest.
Walters had the perfect situation. He didn't have to work in the final break as he had O'Bee back there for the sprint if Pate faltered and the break was caught.
While we await full results, the top four are:
Mark Walters (Navigators), Chann McRae (USPS), Danny Pate (Prime Alliance) and Henk Vogels (Mercury).