Philadelphia International Championships co-founder and one of the men behind the Atlanta Olympics road race, Jerry Casale, has died. Casale died Wednesday night following a long battle with prostate cancer.
The former owner of Hill Cycle bike shop near Philadelphia, Casale co-founded the U.S. Pro Cycling Championships with David Chauner in 1985. Together they made the 17-percent climb in nearby Manayunk world famous.
Casale is quoted on the race’s website as saying: “Little did we know when we named the Manayunk Wall it would become known around the world… If you ask anyone about the Philly race, they say, oh, the one with the Manayunk Wall?”
Casale was widely regarded as one of the godfathers of elite cycling in the United States. Chauner and he were the tandem behind events that included the San Francisco Grand Prix and the Tour of West Virginia.
An outpouring of remembrances came in recent days to Casale’s personal Facebook page, as well as a Facebook group set up for fans of Hill Cycles:
John Eustice, Univest Grand Prix promoter, former professional
“I’ve got my Hill Cycle shorts on, a blue jersey (Bicycle Baby – a Hill Cycle graduate) and a little red wool italian winter cap, brim and flaps positioned just-so. Going to ride some laps of Central Park, where Jerry sent me in 1970 to race the Intermediate National Championships. My bike is cool and clean. Lessons learned, Jerry.”
Ray Cipollini, Treasurer of the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame, former Navigators manager
“Jerry, thanks for being a bikerider….. You will be missed by our community. The Capo…….”