The professionals won’t have to conquer “The Wall” as many times during this year’s Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, but for the first time, amateur riders will get to test themselves on the same course, including the iconic 17 percent grade incline in Manayunk.
Race organizers are shortening the professional race, knocking it down from 10 trips around the 14.7-mile course to seven, but instituting a morning ride for amateur enthusiasts, who will get to complete three circuits.
Dave Chauner, president of Pro Cycling Tour, said the changes come amid tough economic times. This is the final year of TD Bank’s deal as the prime sponsor, and in 2009 the city began requiring events to pay the full cost of city services, such as police protection and street cleaning. Certain ethnic parades and festivals have since been exempted from police costs.