Reading 120 Reveals New Course
Spectator-friendly road circuit inspired by Rio Olympics
Championship Cycling, Inc., unveiled a redesigned Reading 120 course Wednesday that lays claim to be “the longest and hardest single-day race in the United States,” said Race Director John Eustice.
The 200-kilometer race on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Pennsylvania will include nearly 10,000 feet of climbing as well as a finish inspired by the Olympic road race course in Rio.
“This course is harder than the 2015 version thanks to eight tough climbs,” Eustice said. “And like the Rio race course that inspired it, there is a 13-kilometer downhill and flat stretch from the final summit to the finish, which guarantees a spectacular finale.”
The Reading 120 “Classic of the Americas” is a UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) event. The race begins with two 45-mile opening laps that take the race from the start in Reading to Kutztown. There, its famed university will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with a sprint prize each time through the town. The village of Oley and Borough of Mount Penn will see the race pass by four and seven times, respectively. The racers will take on three laps of an eight-mile finishing circuit that peaks with the 2.5-mile climb up Mount Penn past Reading’s famed Pagoda historical landmark.
Presented by Reading Health System, the Reading 120 is in its third iteration of the Pennsylvania UCI 1.2 road race that began as the Univest Grand Prix in 1998 and continued as the Bucks County Classic in 2012 before becoming the Reading 120 last year. The event’s rich history includes providing international competition to aspiring amateurs and young professionals.
Reading has a rich cycling history, having hosted the Reading Classic, a stop on the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling, from 2006-08. The city has also been the site of USA Cycling Junior National Championships, as well as the WEEU Cycle Series. The city is located in the middle of one of the richest cycling communities in the United States and borders the Lehigh Valley, Lancaster and Harrisburg regions.
Continuing the PRT weekend will be the Thompson Criterium of Doylestown on Sunday, Sept. 11 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. As it has since 2003, the races will encircle the Doylestown Arts Festival and be live-streamed for those who cannot enjoy the day-long action in person.
Technical design and implementation of the Reading 120 is organized by Manhattan-based Championship Cycling, Inc.