Univest Grand Prix Energizes, Strengthens Ties In Host Communities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 7, 2011

Univest Grand Prix Energizes, Strengthens Ties In Host Communities

14th Annual Race Weekend Builds On Sponsor Goals Of Uniting Business, Residents

Souderton, Pa. -- The Univest Grand Prix, September 17 and 18 is one of the most prestigious cycling events on the North American racing calendar. It is also a proving ground for top young racers from around the world who know it as a crucial pathway for their Tour de France aspirations. But for this quiet community north of Philadelphia, the Univest Grand Prix is first and foremost an annual reunion that energizes and strengthens the community ties at the heart of the region.

That was the goal Univest Corporation set when it reached out to race organizer John Eustice almost 15 years ago. From children’s races to the Family Expo to the annual Doylestown Arts Festival that anchors the second part of this great, two-day event, the goal has always been bringing people together, say sponsors, civic authorities and race organizers.

This year the community activities will be expanded with a return to the traditional Cyclosportif recreational ride that takes riders through the scenic country roads of Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh and Bucks Counties. A new festival at Generations of Indian Valley (formerly SAAC) will include the “Cyclo” finish and a post-ride feast open to the public. In addition, spectators joining the fun will have a chance to watch the exciting King of the Mountain competition of the pro race.

The pros will tackle a new racecourse on Saturday, Sept. 17 that includes 12 laps of a 6.5-mile (10.4 km) circuit, followed by five laps of a 4.5-mile (7 km) finishing loop. Only the strongest athlete will be in a position to cross the finish line as a champion after racing 100 miles (160 km) and climbing 34 hills. The change to a challenging, three-leaf clover circuit means finish line area spectators will see the field more than 50 times. The Saturday race, which is both the top ranked USA Cycling National Calendar race and the final stop on the international 2011 UCI Americas Tour calendar, will also be televised locally by WFMZ Channel 69 News and streamed worldwide on wfmz.com.

Fans will again be able to enjoy watching the riders refuel “on-the-go” at the Feed Zone on Wile Avenue and borough residents along the race route are encouraged to host parties as they watch more than 150 of the best young racers in the world compete on the streets around their town.

The fast-paced racing will continue on Sunday, Sept. 18 as the racers take to the streets in the popular Univest Grand Prix Doylestown Criterium, held in conjunction with the annual Arts Festival.

“Above all, this is a community event," says promoter John Eustice, director and president of Sparta Cycling, Inc. “Local families house the competitors, serve as course marshals to make the races safe for them, ride the Cyclosportif 100K, and come out and cheer for their favorites. What’s more – almost all of our sponsors are from the local community. There is a strong sense of pride in what we’ve all built by working so well together.”

Souderton Police Chief James P. Leary said a knowledgeable and informed borough council, which includes several bicyclists, the involvement of the mayor and the cooperation between the Souderton, Telford and Franconia Township police departments have all been instrumental in making the race safe and successful.

“Our police departments work hand-in-hand to keep the event as safe as possible for everyone,” Leary said.

A key to the success of the Univest Grand Prix has been the support from the local business community, which embraces the race every year, said Ken Byler, a board member and past president of the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“The Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce looks forward to hosting John Eustice at a luncheon each year just prior to the Univest Grand Prix. His energy and passion for the race is infectious. It’s good to see so many local businesses helping to make this event a success,” said Byler.

Firms such as Detweiler, Hershey & Associates in Souderton and Fox Rothschild in Doylestown support the events annually.

“Detweiler, Hershey & Associates, PC believes the Indian Valley is a special place to live and work. An exceptional event, like the Univest Grand Prix, deserves the support of everyone in the business community because it brings people to our area, offers great brand visibility, and is a unique way to entertain clients. We are especially pleased to be this year’s title sponsor for the traditional Cyclosportif and hope many recreational riders will show up to participate,” said Managing Partner H. Bruce Detweiler, CPA.

In return, the race and its related events support community organizations such as the Penn Foundation, which provides behavioral health services to over 10,000 people each year, primarily in Bucks and Montgomery counties. In the last year, this meant over 240,000 individual visits.

“Penn Foundation is delighted to be part of the Univest Grand Prix; it’s one of the highlights of our calendar,” said Jennifer King, director of advancement for the Sellersville-based service provider. “We have a strong tradition of support from our caring community, and volunteering at the Univest Grand Prix is a vivid example of that support. The strength, endurance and drive that the Univest Grand Prix athletes and the Cyclosportif riders embody are also exhibited every day at Penn Foundation in the hope and resilience of those we serve.”

Pre-registration for the Cyclosportif ride is available online at www.bikereg.com through Friday, Sept. 14. Pre-registered riders receive an official Univest Cyclosportif T-shirt in addition to the post-ride meal available to all participants. Proceeds from the $65 entry fee ($75 on the day of the event) benefit the Penn Foundation.

For more information about the race and the activities for the entire family, visit univestgrandprix.com or call 215-721-8396.

Kim Detwiler
VP, Director of Corporate Communications
Univest Corporation
215-721-8396
detwilerk@univest.net
www.univest.net

 

Joe McDermott
Local Media Director
Univest Grand Prix
484-860-2289
jysmcd@ptd.net
www.univestgrandprix.com

About the Univest Grand Prix

From its inception, the Univest Grand Prix has united the towns throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties for a weekend of community celebration while offering a unique showcase for the best young talent in cycling. For more information visit www.univestgrandprix.com.

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 Bank and Trust Co., member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers customers 32 financial service centers, 12 retirement financial services centers, and 39 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. For more information on Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania and its subsidiaries, please visit www.univest.net.

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. For more information, please visit www.spartacycling.com.

About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar

Currently in its 15th season, the National Racing Calendar (NRC) is the premier season-long domestic road cycling series sanctioned and owned by USA Cycling. With an overall ranking system that determines the best individual male and female cyclists, as well as the best teams in the U.S., the NRC features the nationís top Pro-Am road race events, boasts a total prize purse of more than one million dollars, and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists. For more information on the NRC, visit www.usacycling.org/nrc. 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.

About the UCI

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) (in English, the International Cycling Union) is the world governing body for cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, Switzerland. The UCI manages the classification of races and the points ranking system in various cycling disciplines including mountain biking, road and track cycling, for both men and women, amateur and professional. It also oversees the World Championships. For more information on the UCI, visit www.uci.ch.