Part two of The Battle for Fort Washington was contested on another glorious summer evening, cool but sunny into the twilight. Seventy five riders came out for the races and clinic, 30% of them women.
In a slight change, this week dropped riders were pulled and relaunched into the fields at the top of the “slight rise,” rather than directly at the finish line, making it significantly easier for many to rejoin and take another crack at hanging with the pack. Our stellar coaches from Breakaway Bikes also rode with the B and Women’s races throughout, mentoring newer racers and organizing chase groups of dropped riders. Between those efforts and most riders having gotten the gauge of the course last week, the night featured much more cohesive groups and pack racing than the debut.
The B Race began with 41 riders taking to the road. Breakaway Bikes’ Joe Wentzell, Colton Valentine, and Bill Ash again lead this group through three neutral laps to ensure a safe, clean start and some pack riding for everybody. A large lead group eventually formed, with eight riders earning points in the three sprints. Kyle Pray (QCW Cycling p.b. Breakawaybikes.com) claimed two of them for the win, with David Finnegan (unattached) the middle for second, and junior Jimmy Maurer (Charm City Cycling) rounding out the podium.
Several more women came out this week, bumping the Women’s Race to a solid 23 starters. Following the two lap neutral start, a group of four kept charging after the first sprint and established a strong breakaway, eventually consuming all of the points. Shaina Kravitz (Kelpius Cycling) took two of the three sprints for the win, just holding off Angelia Flick (Bicycle Therapy) and Phoebe Wang (QCW Cycling p.b. Breakawaybikes.com). Fresh from crushing the Tour de Millersburg with a GC win this past weekend, Samantha Fox (QCW Cycling p.b. Breakawaybikes.com) rounded out this lead group.
Wrapping up the evening, 23 starters began the A Race, with a well mixed field of categories. Most of that group stayed intact throughout the evening, surging through the finishing stretch on sprint laps and then settling down for a consistent pace in the lulls. Riding very strong, Sean Burger (Amoroso’s Racing Team) traded sprint wins throughout with Thomas Detwiler (Breakawaybikes.com-Vie13 pb Felt Bicycle), then hung on in the final sprint to claim just enough points to win out the night over Detwiler. Robert Kehl (Guy’s Racing) took third place, rounding out the podium with category 4, 2, and 3 riders.
Throughout that race, the Breakaway Bikes’ crew again conducted an hour’s worth of skills drills in the grass alongside course. Men and women, beginners and veterans, all brushed up on their close quarters handling, practicing how to respond to the contact inevitable in higher category, higher speed racing. Several riders from the Bicycle Coalition’s Cadence Cycling Foundation also came out for the evening, a few joining in the racing and then all participating in the clinic.
Full results from the night have been posted. Next week wraps up the inaugural Battle for Fort Washington! Come on out and join us for some great late summer fun races. We have a ton of prizes to give away, so don’t miss out!
Following that, on Sunday, August 24, everyone is invited and encouraged to join us for the QCW Arsenal Crit. This year features a straightforward, four corner, completely flat course down in The Navy Yard in South Philly. A full slate of races is on the docket, notably including Women’s 4 and Men’s 5 races for beginners, full length races for women, and just $5 to double up races. Check out the details on the race flyer, and sign up on BikeReg!