Trek/Livestrong, Felt-Holowesko Partners/Garmin U23 Team Rivalries To Play Out at 2009 Univest Grand Prix

Sparta Home Univest Grand Prix Race Services Media Services Recreation Rides Coaching Links

Univest Grand Prix Univest GP Main
About the Event
Kids Races
Cyclosportif Ride
5K Run
Univest Banking Insurance Investments
Pennsylvania - State of Independence
Doylestown Hospital
Grand View Hospital
Fox Rothschild Attorneys at Law
Leidy's Premium Pork Products
Penn Foundation
Doylestown Intelligencer
69 New WFMZ
Universal Sports
KYW Newsradio 1060
Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau
Bucks County
Khler, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers
Sanford Alderfer
Landis Supermarkets
Moyer & Son
Harleysville Insurance
North Penn Water Authority
Champion System
Cadence Cycling
Souderton Independent
Comcast SportsNet
WNPV Info-Radio 1440AM


Trek/Livestrong, Felt-Holowesko Partners/Garmin U23 Team Rivalries To Play Out at 2009 Univest Grand Prix

Stage Race Setting Up As Late-Season Battleground for North American Cycling Primacy

Souderton, Pa -- Lance Armstrong’s Trek-Livestrong development team, Jonathan Vaughter’s developmental Felt-Holowesko Partners-GarminU23 Team, Steve Bauer’s Planet Energy from Canada, Tecos-Trek of Mexico and other top teams from Italy and Sweden will make the 2009 edition of the Univest Grand Prix one of the toughest and most aggressive races ever seen at the final stop on the 2009 UCI America Tour calendar

Perennial aggressors in the event, Tecos-Trek is lead by UCI America Tour’s top-ranked rider, Colombia’s Gregorio Vegas Landino Vega, who is looking to ensure his victory in the season-long competition. Vega recently reclaimed the top spot in the UCI America Tour with his Pan American Games road race championship victory and Tecos-Trek is currently sitting second in the team classification of the America’s calendar.

Armstrong’s young Livestrong squad is led by team director Axel Merckx, a 10-year Tour de France competitor and son of cycling legend Eddy Merckx. Merckx has put Taylor Phinney on the start list, but is awaiting final physical examinations before committing Phinney to the event. Considered one of the best young riders in the world, Phinney is recovering a very hard crash that occurred on July 24. The 19-year old is the 2009 World Pursuit Champion and winner of this year’s Paris-Roubaix Espoir, the Under-23 version of the race known to pro riders as “The Hell of the North.”

The Felt-Holowesko Partners Garmin U-23 squad is led by team director Jonathan Vaughters also a former Tour de France rider, who has used the Univest Grand Prix in recent years to both identify new talent and to spotlight his own up-and-coming riders, such as last year’s winner Lucas Euser and Will Frischkorn, who used his 2007 victory to catapult himself to a strong showing in the 2008 Tour de France.

Local sponsors have helped bring in European competition since the inception of the Univest Grand Prix in 1998 and this year is no exception. Italy’s Amore & Vita is sponsored by Detweiler Hershey & Associates and led by Ukraine’s Yuri Metlushenko, winner of the 2008 Univest Criterium in Doylestown. Johan Lindgren leads Team Cykelcity of Sweden, sponsored by the law firm of Klehr Harrison. The powerful Swedes took the overall victory and and three out of the four special classifications in 2008. Top North American teams round out the roster, with Jet Fuel Coffee and Mazur Coaching/Bikyle of Canada and U.S. favorites Kelly Benefits Strategies, OUCH p/b Maxxis and Kenda Pro Cycling all providing additional horsepower to the event.

“This is going to be a great North American competition,” said race organizer John Eustice, president of Sparta Cycling. “The Univest Grand Prix is a race designed to showcase, on live TV, the best new talent in the world - a place where young riders come to make their names known to the racing world. We like being an important North American open race, one that gives both young pros and top amateurs their shot at a big result.”

Bobby Julich, a Tour de France veteran and now team development director to Team Saxo Bank, said the Univest Grand Prix is the best race in North America to scout out new talent for his team. In addition to his scouting duties, Julich will serve as the celebrity leader for the Univest Cyclosportif 100K on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The Allentown team time trial -- which will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 -- serves as the opening round of the three-day race weekend in eastern Pennsylvania. Teams will compete over two laps of a tough and technical 3.8 mile loop that takes them through Allentown’s Center City commercial district, its scenic residential neighborhoods and nationally renowned park system. The racers then must negotiate a short and steep uphill chicane before a final, 500-meter sprint to the line.

Riders will move from Allentown to the now-historic Souderton road race of the Univest Grand Prix on Saturday, September 12, a grueling 100-mile race that offers more than 6,000 feet of climbing, beginning with a 60-mile opening loop through Montgomery County’s rolling hills and ending with 11-laps of the spectator-friendly Souderton finishing circuit and the final victor in the UCI stage race component of the weekend.

Racing continues on Sunday, September 13 with the always fast and tactical Univest Criterium in Doylestown -- 50-miles of high-speed competition around the perimeter of the popular Doylestown Arts Festival in the heart of Bucks County.

WFMZ Channel 69, Allentown and will broadcast the Allentown and Souderton races live from start to finish. The Allentown and Souderton races will feature a jumbo television at the finish line to allow spectators to follow the action throughout the course.

The racing has inspired many community activities that add to the festive atmosphere of the weekend.

The Allentown event will include a “City Culture Fair” with exhibits from a variety of the city’s museums and entertainment venues, including Allentown Symphony Hall, the Allentown Art Museum, America On Wheels, the Lehigh County Historical Society, Civic Theater and other non-profit organizations.

Organizers are also reaching out to nearby schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs and other youth organizations with educational programs and involvement opportunities to encourage youngsters to ride bikes, become fit and stay healthy.

The popular Cyclosportif 100K recreational ride will return on Saturday, Sept. 12, giving hundreds of participants the opportunity to challenge themselves on the racecourse of the Univest Grand Prix. The Cyclosportif will benefit the Penn Foundation, a non-profit that provides comprehensive behavioral healthcare to persons in need of hope, healing, and compassion throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties.

During the professional race on Saturday, spectators in Souderton can enjoy a Family Fun Zone from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Univest Plaza, which includes children’s activities, photo opportunities with the Berenstain Bears, community displays, giveaways, regional foods and more. Children’s sprints will also be part of the schedule while the pro cyclists are racing out in the countryside. Spectators in Lansdale will be treated to children’s sprints on Main Street at 10:00 a.m. and a community festival hosted by the North Penn Boys and Girls Club from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Lansdale activities will take place at Main Street and Susquehanna Avenue in the municipal lot adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club.

The community events continue on Sunday in Doylestown with children’s races at 10:30 a.m. followed by the start of the professional race at 11:00 a.m. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the Univest Doylestown Criterium, which provides a third day of fast-paced, circuit-style racing, a much different event than Friday’s team time trial and the classic road race on Saturday. In addition to the professional race, the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance will once again hold the Doylestown Arts Festival in conjunction with the Univest Grand Prix. The race route will showcase the festival by providing spectators and attendees an opportunity to watch the race while enjoying the work of local artists.

See the complete teams list for the 2009 Univest Grand Prix.

For More Information

Kim Detwiler
VP, Director of Corporate Communications
Univest Corporation

Joe McDermott
Media Director
Univest Grand Prix

About the Univest Grand Prix

Patterned after the great classic races of Europe, the Univest Grand Prix showcases the beauty of 18 municipalities. From its inception, the cycling event was developed to provide opportunities for young athletes to advance, while also uniting the towns throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties for a community celebration. The pro event is presented by: Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania, Leidy s Premium Pork Products, WFMZ-69, Comcast Sportsnet and Doylestown Hospital.

About Univest Corporation

Headquartered in Souderton, Pa., Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania and its subsidiaries serve the financial needs of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. Univest National Bank and Trust Co., member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers customers 32 financial service centers, 12 retirement financial services centers, and 38 ATM locations throughout the region, and is the parent company of Univest Capital, Inc., a small ticket commercial finance business; Univest Insurance, Inc., an independent insurance agency headquartered in Lansdale, Pa., which serves commercial and personal customers; and Univest Investments, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC, a full-service broker-dealer and investment advisory firm.

About Sparta Cycling

Sparta Cycling provides race promotion services to deliver world class events that meet the needs of sponsors, teams and riders, spectators and supporting communities.

About the USA Cycling Professional Tour

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. Created in 2006 to support the growth of professional cycling in the United States, the USA Cycling Professional Tour is a men's-only, season-long calendar that determines the best professional rider and team on American soil. With ten races on the 2009 edition, the USA Cycling Professional Tour attracts the best pro cyclists and teams from around the world to compete in internationally-sanctioned events from coast to coast. The calendar is comprised of seven UCI-sanctioned races and three USA Cycling Professional National Championships (criterium, time trial and road race). At the end of the season, the overall Pro Tour standings determine an individual and a team champion who are considered the best and most consistent performers in international-caliber race in the United States.