Amber Pierce, Inga Cilvinaite, Rachel Neylan, and Shelley Olds pose for a photo outside the Sheraton hotel in downtown Philadelphia.
On the morning before the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships, Fuji organized a Q&A with its three sponsored professional cycling teams – Diadora-Pasta Zara, GEOX-TMC, and V Australia – with the questions coming from approximately 20 members of the Cadence Cycling Foundation, a Philadelphia-based, Fuji-sponsored, non-profit organization devoted to providing cycling opportunities, intermingled with educational initiatives, for inner city children ages 9-18.
After the teams introduced themselves to the children, members of the Cadence Cycling Foundation raised their hands and asked the questions they’ve always wanted to ask their idols: What’s the hardest part of the sport? What’s your training regime like? How do you cope with language barriers? How did you get to where you are today?
And they listened closely to each response.
Shelley responds to the question: What’s the most difficult part about being a professional cyclist? To which she replied, “Having the energy and willpower to train every day.”
It was a unique opportunity for the area’s rising stars to meet some of the greatest cyclists in the world, the riders they look up to.
Members of Diadora-Pasta Zara and V Australia pose for a group photo with the Cadence Cycling Foundation.
In the evening, Fuji hosted a dinner for its athletes in downtown Manayunk, right along the race course. Here, Amber, Inga, Shelley, and Rachel pose with Team Manager Manel Lacambra.
Outside the restaurant, the Diadora ladies mingled with the members of GEOX-TMC and posed for a group photo.
Shelly Olds finishes 2nd in Liberty Classic!
In the 92.7-km Liberty Classic – the largest single-day professional cycling race in the United States – Shelley Olds finished 2nd, coming across the line mere inches behind World Champion Gorgia Bronzini in the final bunch sprint. Shelley’s Diadora teammates dominated the final kilometers with their lead-out train, putting Shelley in great position.
Shelley managed to be in the front of the peloton for all four climbs up the Manayunk Wall, a signature feature of the Philly Bike Race course: 800 meters long with a 17 percent grade at its steepest point. Every year, Philadelphia-based Fuji Bikes holds a party for its customers, dealers, employees, and sponsored team staff at the top of the wall, so when Shelley led the peloton up The Wall, there was a roar of cheers.
Inga Cilvinaite also had a great race, finishing with the peloton at 18th.
For more info and photos from the race, check out Cycling News’ coverage of the Liberty Classic below.
Mara Abbott forced to miss Liberty Classic due to crash
Diadora-Pasta Zara was missing a notable teammate in Philadelphia. Mara Abbott sustained a concussion and lacerations on her fingers from a training crash just hours before her flight to Philadelphia. The team was very disappointed she couldn’t be with them but is hopeful she will be able to return to racing soon, particularly for the upcoming Giro Donne to defend her title. For more info on the crash, click on the link below.