A Spectator’s Guide to the Univest Grand Prix

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 13, 2011

A Spectator’s Guide to the Univest Grand Prix

Where, What to Watch as World’s Top Young Cyclists Compete for Victory

Souderton, Pa. – The 2011 Univest Grand Prix will pit the best young cyclists in the world against each other on a revamped racecourse tailor-made for the American cycling audience as the speed, strength, endurance and tactics of teams and individuals play out on the streets through Souderton, Telford and Franconia this Saturday.

The winner will be the rider who has strong team support, the courage to overcome the pack and the tactical sense to put himself -- and his teammates --; in the best position for the final sprint to the finish line on Main Street.

The three-leaf clover racecourse designed for this year’s competition offers fans a multitude of options to watch the race from different vantage points as it unfolds over 100 miles of racing, 34 climbs and the twists and turns that force the riders to maintain their focus for nearly four hours.

The pros will tackle 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 the hills on Wile Avenue and Second Street 34 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 from 11 a.m. to noon and streamed worldwide on www.wfmz.com so fans can watch the race on television in tandem with going outside to see them go past. WFMZ will also shift live coverage to WFMZ 69.4 after noon.

“Any of the cyclists out there are strong, they are fast and they have the endurance to win,” said Race Director John Eustice, president of Sparta Cycling, Inc. “But it’s going to take a total team effort and real experience and tactics to pull out a victory this year. ”

While there is only one winner in a bike race, cycling is, like many American sports, a team competition. Each rider has a role, just like an outfielder or lineman, a pitcher or quarterback. The designated team leader is the rider who has the best chance of winning – usually the cyclist that has the best combination of strength, endurance, experience and intelligence to remain competitive at the end of the race.

The other team members provide support. Some will be designated to help bring fluids or food to the leader during the race. Others will provide a buffer, allowing the leader to draft behind them like a Nascar driver for much of the race before sling-shotting out of the field for the final sprint.

Others will be asked to lead breakaways during the race, testing the other teams and riders as they force a faster pace or threaten to gain so much of a lead that the rest of the pack cannot catch up.

Some teams will launch breakaways early in the race to push the pace higher and wear out the opponents. Others will look for tactical times to launch a rider or two a bit later in the day.

Watch for the freshest racers to jump from the pack at the top of the N. Second Street hill near Generations of Indian Valley, where the King of the Mountain competition will be decided. Another tactical location could be the top of the Wile Avenue hill when their competitors slow down for the Feed Zone – this is also where the racers are likely to be going slower, which means it’s an ideal time to spot your favorite rider or team.

It may also be where the field has become tired after multiple climbs.

“Cycling is truly a chess match on wheels,” said Eustice. “Yes, it takes strength and speed and endurance, but in the end it is the team and the rider who rides the smartest race who is likely to win.

“As fans gain a better understanding about racing and they learn to watch the tactics play out on an exciting course like this, they become much more involved and the race becomes a lot more fun,” he continued. “That is our real goal. We want the fans to have fun.”

The cyclists will take to the streets again Sunday, Sept. 18, in the popular Univest Criterium, held in the heart of Doylestown in conjunction with its annual Arts Festival. Both days feature a family festival, expo, and kid’s races.

Kim Detwiler
VP, Director of Corporate Communications
Univest Corporation


Joe McDermott
Local Media Director
Univest Grand Prix

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.