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First Union Invitational
First Union Classic & USPRO

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First Union Series

USA, June 4-9, 2002

First Union Series news for June 2, 2002

First Union combines with charity ride; Manayunk Wall immortalised

The First Union Invitational, which kicks off the First Union Cycling Series on June 4 in Lancaster, Philadelphia, will be run in collaboration with the charity event "Dream Ride 2002". 18 local charities in Lancaster have "adopted" one of the twenty teams and will display "support and enthusiasm" throughout the race for their selected team. First Union is donating $1,000.00 on behalf of the race winner and his team to the 'adopting' charity.

In addition, "The Manayunk Wall", one of the most feared climbs in the PCT series, has now been immortalized bearing a plaque that recognises the climb as the most difficult stretch of the First Union USPRO Cycling Championship race course.

After 17 years, the climb has attained something of a romantic, larger-than-life aura, along the lines of the Boston Marathon's "Heartbreak Hill".

Riders will have to tackle the 17 percent climb ten times in 156 mile event. Fans line up twenty deep on both sides of the road, and virtually every house on "The Wall" hosts race parties throughout the six-hour event.

According to George Hincapie of the USPS Team, who has raced the event seven times with a victory in 1998, "the cheering is so loud up the Manayunk Wall. It keeps up going and helps make the race as exciting as any in the world."

Amateur rides can test their legs two days before the pro race in the Manayunk Amateur Hill Climb, held on Friday, June 7 at 4.30pm.

For more information on the First Union series visit www.firstunioncycling.com