The DC metro area was lucky enough to have two full days of pro cycling this weekend. Saturday brought the 12th edition of the Clarendon Cup, a well-established crit with a stellar reputation. Sunday gave us a much newer race - the second year of the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic. Mentioned by more than one person in uniform as the start of the "Air Force's answer to the Marine Corp Marathon", it combined a morning open-participation charity ride (benefiting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund) with a pro men's race in the afternoon. Nineteen teams competed for 150km on a 12.5km course that started at the U.S. Air Force Memorial (the latest significant addition to DC's skyline), rode around the Pentagon, and into Arlington's "Crystal City" area (which serves as host to what one might call the "extended Pentagon" - filled with the offices of companies like race sponsors KBR and Northrop-Grumman).
The field this year was solid, including nationally competitive teams like BMC, Colavita-Sutter Home, and Team Type 1. International teams were also in the mix, with South Africa's Medscheme, Germany's Nordland Hamburg, and the Danish National Team present. Finally, local powerhouses such as Battley Harley were invited to give it a go.
If you wanted the competitive details of the race, you've probably already read the Cyclingnews.com or VeloNews summaries. If you want the feel of the day, taken from the PodiumCafe perspective? Hit the flip.
Getting ready for the race - the caravan is looking over the Pentagon into Washington.
Kenda's DS explains the plan for the day.
Sharp bikes: BMC's spares ready to go.
USO Hospitality: Expanded Service Edition
Team Medscheme wins the "Furthest Travelled" award, being based in South Africa.
Bissell's Kirk O'Bee feeling good before the race.
In contrast, Danish National Team rider Dan Ramsas? Not so much. He's nursing the scrapes from the previous day's crash in the Clarendon Cup.
DC Velo's Todd Bozak and Battley Harley's Chuck Hutcheson hope to inject some local action into the race.
Whose chopper is this?
Someone is a j-turning badass. Not that I'm saying who.
OUCH's Tim Johnson wants his bike back.
98% of this picture was made possible with your tax dollars. Thanks!
Peloton strung out all the way back to the Air Force Memorial.
Early break: Bissell's Ben Jacques-Maynes and Danish National Team's Jesper Laustsen try to make a go of it. It would last for a few laps.
Heading into the feed zone.
Break News Break
Battley Harley's Keck Baker.
Awful roads. And this was the least of it.
The finishing straightaway on Crystal City Drive.
Saul Raisin dropped by to talk about the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and his book, Tour of Life.
Final lap: Fly V's Charles Dionne tries to solo off the front of the five man break,
but Team Type 1's Shawn Milne isn't letting him go.
Kelly Benefit's Scott Ziwzanski, who'd already spent a good part of the previous day's Clarendon Cup animating the winning break, stayed in the mix.
Milne got out in front about 200 meters out, and stayed there.
Raisin congratulated Milne.
Milne interviewed by Cyclingnews.com while the organizers prepare the awards.
Announcer Mike Aisner and local television weatherman (and genuine cyclist) Joe Witte discuss how Joe pulled off two days of great racing weather.
The race and the Crystal Ride - a participatory ride held before the Air Force Cycling Classic - raised $34,500 for the Intrepit Fallen Heroes Fund.
Planet Energy's Andrew Randell wins the Powerade Sprint Jersey.
Ben Jaque-Maynes takes the L3 KOM Jersey. (Perhaps best to think of it as sprinter's jersey for sprints that involve a small hill).
General Jadice presents Air Force coins to the podium winners.
And Shawn Milne gets the Giant winner's jersey (size small).
The 2009 Air Force Cycling Classic Podium.
Now, to find a place for these flowers.
The winner had his post-race obligations . . .
and I had mine.