This year Philly came back with a new course and a new atmosphere. More chaotic than usual, the deck reshuffled all day. Each lap through the feed zone, a different group of 40 riders was off the front....by minutes! This patterned continued until about half distance when a solid group gained about 2 minutes. Our own Clay Murfet rode well in that 10 man breakaway which eventually turned into, again after more reshuffling, the break of the day. For me personally I had one of the worse days on my bicycle that I can remember so not much to say about my race.
Patton and Monte were very active in the opening hours as planned, with Winsor lighting it up on the wall in those opening five laps. With Murfet up the road by lap 6, Bobby Lea was able to conserve his energy in the dwindling peloton. Of the 200 riders who started only 45 riders reached the trip through Manayunk on par.
Unfortunately Clay suffered a flat on the final trip up Lemon Hill, leaving Bobby alone in the peloton of 40. With the dwindling break of 5 just out of the peloton's sight, Bobby launched a hail-mary solo attack with 6km remaining. Although he earned the hearts of the fans on Manayunk, who watched his attack on the megatron screens, it was not to be as it was grouppo compacto when the riders hit Manayunk cobbles for the final time. With the race left to the climbers, the spoils went to UHC, Optum and Hincapie Development.
The atmosphere on the wall was comparable to a nightclub, rich in cigarette smoke and intoxicated fans. It was hot, over 32'c all day, never mind the radiant effect of Manayunk's wall. The event was very well run and there was a lot more security than I've ever seen at a bike race. I guess this makes sense because the event was produced by the same organizers as the Philadelphia Marathon. They even had an armored car!