Now in its 21st edition, the Annual Armed Force Cycling Classic is a two day racing event in Arlington, VA that showcases the country’s top sprinters for the greater Washington D.C. region. The Armed Forces Cycling Classic consists of the Clarendon Cup, known as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S., and the Crystal Cup the following day. The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling team sent a strong team to Arlington all focused on bringing fast sprinter, Cory Williams, to the line first each day.
Saturday’s Clarendon Cup featured a one kilometer course traversed by the field 100 times for 100km. The technical demands of the course and the summer heat would ensure this would be a very difficult 100 kilometers for the field.
Early on, about ten laps in, a break of four riders slipped away and managed a healthy gap for the first half of the race; the field behind was unsure how to react and the time gap was allowed to open up, a dangerous game on a short one kilometer course, especially with the former national criterium champion in the move, as the field would soon find out.
As the break, now three riders, got within 15 seconds of the back of the field the peloton began to take notice at the front looking to deny the inevitable. This only served to fracture the field and add to the long list of DNFs that would populate the results sheet at the end of the day.
In the end, the break made the catch and UHC set up their fast man Eric Marcotte, now a lap up, for the victory. The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling boys were active all day trying to bring the escapees back for most of the race; Eder Frayre sprinted to a top ten result, which only made the team hungrier for a victory in Sunday’s race.
The Crystal Cup is a shorter race at only 90 minutes and ultimately decides the overall classification, so the racing was fast and exciting all day.
Several moves made their way up the road throughout the race, which kept the sprinter’s teams, including Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling, very attentive at the front; no one wanted to miss out on the opportunity to sprint for the victory today after what happened Saturday.
As the laps counted down a strong break was still up the road on the 1.3 kilometer circuit that worried the team, who were all rallying around Cory for the finish. The team moved into formation with 7 laps to go and worked perfectly to set up their leadout coming into the final lap giving Cory Williams a clear shot at the line and the victory in the Crystal Cup.
This victory was a sweet reward for the hard work of the team on the day and an excellent chance to showcase Cory’s sprinting savvy.
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