With yet another lucky break on the weather, The Battle for Fort Washington concluded yesterday with a glorious summer evening! Seventy-three racers came out for the last day of racing and another great skills clinic, including more than twenty women and fifty men and women beginners. Total participants for the series came out to 133 unique racers, and an unknown but not insignificant number of riders coming out for just the clinics.
The B Race took flight with 40 starters and a number of new faces for the series, including several doing their very first bicycle race. Nathan Bowser wrapped up his road racing debut with this series by crushing each of the three sprints, taking first place for the evening. Behind him, Charles Kline (Bicycle Therapy) and Patrick Zbyszewski (Spinteck Cycling Team) battled hard in the sprints, trading places with a handful of other riders but earning just enough points to claim the top spots.
Twenty riders started the Women’s Race, with several top local beginners again duking it out on Fort Washington’s leg draining climb. Much like last week, a small breakaway pulled away early but this time shattered itself, the leaders spending large chunks of the race in their own individual time trials. Her legs no doubt recovered now from the previous week’s stage racing, Samantha Fox (QCW Cycling p.b. Breakawaybikes.com) motored through at the head of each of the sprints to claim the night’s victory. Shaina Kravitz (Kelpius Cycling) and Angelia Fick (Bicycle Therapy), just upgraded to Women’s category 3 this week, came through in 2nd and 3rd respectively each sprint, rounding out the night’s podium.
Ending the racing on a fast note, the A Race’s 26 starters were absolutely flying up the hill for the first few laps. Series newcomer and juniors racer Ian Clarke (Killington Mountain School) traded sprints all night with last week’s winner Sean Burger (Amoroso’s Racing Team), with the victory decided for Ian by a mere two points. Consistent placings by Justin Thompson (Fuji Bikes – TiC) gave him just enough points for third place.
Meanwhile, track racing world champion and elite coach Dana Walton of Walton Endurance lead the evening’s clinic. Some thirty riders joined, including a number of juniors from the Cadence Cycling Foundation. Walton opened the night with an interactive discussion identifying particular skills beginners should actively think about and consciously work to develop in future races and group rides. The group then did several drills focusing on close proximity riding, concluding with an exciting grass track mini-crit to work on following wheels and accelerating to close gaps in paceline cornering.
By all accounts this event has been a great success and we thank all of our volunteers and sponsors for making it happen. Fort Washington State Park remains a great supporter of the event and are very open to hosting again next year, potentially shifting to late spring. All comments and suggestions are welcome (email us!), and we encourage everyone to stay in touch for this and other events through the First States Cycling Alliance Facebook page.
We also hope to see everyone this Sunday at the QCW Arsenal Crit, which features a number of beginners’ and women’s categories on a super fun course right in South Philly. Online pre-registration is on BikeReg, and all details in the race flyer.
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