Philadelphia – 05/27/2010 – The TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship is back for its 26th year, and the racing will be some of the fiercest ever. From the number one ranked pro team in the world to numerous national champions, hundreds of the best professionals in the world will be looking to add Philadelphia to their list of top career wins.

Returning to defend the title is the world's number one ranked team, HTC-Columbia, which won the race in 2009. The team has already turned in major victories through the first half of the 2010 season. From sprinting to climbing this team wins all kinds of races thanks to its deep stable of talent, an ability that serves a team well in a race like Philly where the challenging nature of the course makes for a different competition every year. This year the team is bringing Matt Goss who recently took out a major victory, winning the field sprint in a stage of the Giro d'Italia. American Craig Lewis is also coming, bringing good climbing skills for the Manayunk Wall.

The other top division team in the race is the Liquigas-Doimo squad from Italy, which has some of the fastest sprinters in the world and recently had a lot of success at the Tour of California, winning three of the eight stages. If the race comes down to a field sprint Francesco Chicchi is ready, with five sprint wins in various stage races already this year including the Tour of California. As well, the team is bringing young sensation Peter Sagan who is having a break-through season so far, winning two stages and the sprint jersey at the renowned Paris-Nice race and back-to-to back stage wins, along with the best sprinter and best young rider jerseys at the Tour of California.

An American team that has made a huge leap in status for 2010 is the BMC Racing team. In the off-season, the team signed some major talent, combining it with its roster of up-and-coming Americans. One of those is John Murphy, who is the reigning U.S. national criterium champion. Teammate Jackson Stewart won the Lancaster leg of the Triple Crown of Cycling in 2006 while Chad Beyer is having a good year winning the sprint title and finishing second in the King of the Mountains competition at Switzerland's Tour de Romandie.

While the bigger teams are often the pre-race favorites, the North American domestic teams target the Philly race as one of the key events for their season -- for a win here is a capstone for any domestic team. And in the past domestic teams are often in the mix right up to the end, sometimes winning it all.

One domestic team looking to make the jump to more international racing this year is Kelly Benefits Strategies. Racing from Thailand to Korea to Uruguay, not only are they racking up the frequent flier miles but also the wins. Riders like climbing specialist Andy Bajadali and West Chester's own Scott Zwizanski have top wins from 2009 and into 2010.

The United Healthcare-Maxxis team is a multiple-time winner of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar and a two-time winner of the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship.  The team has the depth of talent to challenge in a sprint with Aussie Karl Menzies or in a long breakaway with his fellow countryman Rory Sutherland who is always near the top rankings of the National Racing Calendar and was a top 10 overall at the Tour of California.

The current leaders of both the National Racing Calendar's individual and team standings is Fly V Australia, with Aussie sprinter Jonathan Cantwell coming off a strong Tour of California. The team also boasts Canadian Charles Dionne who is a strong climber that can win out of a breakaway.

Fourteen other domestic teams will be vying for a major win here, including Jelly Belly with Pennsylvania-native Mike Friedman, Jamis-Sutter Home-Colavita with sprinter Ivan Dominguez as well as breakaway specialist and Philly-native Tyler Wren as well as Bissell Pro Cycling with brothers Ben and Andy Jacques-Maynes. Team Type 1 brings Italian Davide Frattini who won the climbing competition here in 2008. His teammate Valery Kobzarenko won it in 2009. The newly formed Bahati Foundation team is also a contender, having stocked its roster with speed and talent, including team founder and renowned speedster Rahsaan Bahati.

Finally two national teams will be represented with mostly younger, up-and-coming talent. However, the Danish national team is captained by a veteran of the sport Sorren Petersen, who spent many years in the U.S. racing with the renowned Saturn team. The U.S. national team is comprised of members of the Garmin-Transitions U23 developmental program, including U23 national champion Alex Howes and Caleb Fairly who recently won the brutal Tour of the Battenkill in upstate New York.

Teams At A Glance

Matt Goss - Won stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia

Francesco Chicchi - A former U23 world champ on the road, he has four sprint wins this year so far including two at the Tour of Qatar.
Peter Sagan - Won two stages and the sprint competition at Paris-Nice, a stage of the Tour of Romandie. Second in first stage of the Tour of California, fourth in third stage.

Yuri Metlushenko - Winner of the Lehigh Valley Classic in 2008 and the Univest Grand Prix Criterium in 2009.

Andy Jacques-Maynes - Rode in the long breakaway in stage 3 of the 2010 Tour of California.
Kyle Wamsley - From Topton, Pa. Won a stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic in 2009 and the overall at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic in 2008.

John Murphy - Current US criterium champion and won the overall at the 2008 Tour of Taiwan.
Chad Beyer - Won the sprint title and finished second in the King of the Mountains at the Tour de Romandie.
Alexander Kristoff - Third in opening stage of Tour of California.

Sorren Petersen - veteran of the sport who spent many years in the U.S. racing with the renowned Saturn team.

Fly V
Jonathan Cantwell - Took fifth in the opening stage of the Tour of California.
Charles Dionne - Former winner of the prestigious San Francisco Grand Prix.

Ivan Dominguez - Has won stages in all three major U.S. stage races - California, Georgia and Missouri.
Tyler Wren - From Rosemont, Pa. and lives in Philly.

Jelly Belly
Mike Friedman - Recently won the Tour of Korea overall.

Andy Bajadali - climbing specialist
Scott Zwizanski – West Chester, Pa., native, turning in top wins in 2009 and 2010

Luca Damiani - Won the CSC Invitational in 2008, multiple podiums in the Italian national cyclocross championships.

Mark Hekmann - Two-time winner of the USA Crits series.

Martin Gilbert - Pan-American road race champ in 2007; 14th in Tour of California stage 1.
Francois Parisien - Ninth in stage 3 of Tour of California.

Team Type 1
Davide Frattini - In the long breakaway on stage 3 of the Tour of California; won Philly’s climbing competition in 2008.

Karl Menzies - Four sprint wins this year and the overall at the Tour of Elk Grove in 2009.
Rory Sutherland - Fourth in stage 2, fifth in stage 3 of Tour of California, top domestic rider in eighth stage

Caleb Fairly - Recently won the rough Tour of Battenkill.
Alex Howes - Current U23 road race national champion.

For further information on the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, visit www.procyclingtour.com.

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