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Cyclists Prepare for the Manayunk Wall

Friday, June 09, 2006

Philadelphia is rolling out the red carpet this weekend for professional cyclists from around the world.

There was the periodic flow of cyclers on Main Street Friday doing light work outs before the Philadelphia International Championship race along the Ben Franklin Parkway, Kelly Drive, and Manayunk streets Sunday. They must prepare for the toughest part of the 144-mile race, the stretch of Levering that's known in cycling circles as "The Wall". They'll tackle the wall 10 times. Last year's champ says cheering fans get them over the wall. Chris Wherry/Defending Champ: "If you've ever been on the Manayunk Wall on the last two laps of the race, it's just a wall of sound the entire way up." Ina Teutenberg/Cyclist: "It gives you goose bumps to go up the wall and have everyone cheer for you." Main Street businesses like the "Human Zoom" bike store are geared up to support the racers with street side celebrations. Mike Brandon/Human Zoom Bike Shop: "It's pretty crazy out there on race day. You can expect to see some things in Manayunk you didn't see all year long." Cycling memorabilia hangs from the rafters in LeBus. The restaurant will be ground zero for a curbside Main Street cheering party during the race. Winnie Clowry/LeBus Owner: "It's a huge party. People are here to cheer on all of the racers as they go by. They blow whistles when they're coming. Everyone gets up from eating and goes out and cheers them as they come around." Racer Curtis Gunn, of Tscon Arizona took in a lunch of Tuna and Sweet potato fries. The night before the race, he'll fuel up on Pasta and protein to be ready for the ride and of coarse the wall. Curtis Gunn/Cycler: "Every year they have so much fun on that hill. You go up the hill and they have 2 or 3 bands playing. And everybody's having a great time. It's very tempting to stop and have fun specially when get to the end and you're suffering. So bad you want to get off and have a beer with everybody."


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