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The capital region’s premier biking event, the Armed Forces Cycling Classic draws professionals and amateurs for a spirited racing faceoff.
A weekend of professional and amateur racing, the annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic, held in Arlington at the beginning of June, is the capital region's premier biking event. Billed as “where champions come to compete since 1998,” the events offer opportunities for cyclists of all abilities to participate. Kids 9 and under even have races, organized by age and experience level.
You can check out the fast-paced competition among licensed racers in their respective categories, including the nation's top Pro/Am men and women in Saturday's Crystal Cup in Crystal City and Sunday's Clarendon Cup in Clarendon. Each race showcases a form of cycling that involves a series of high-speed bike races on a one-kilometer course on city streets. The Clarendon Cup is known as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S. due to the course’s technical demands and the quality of the participants.
The Challenge Ride on Saturday is a fun-filled amateur event for cyclists of all abilities, from casual amateur to serious racer. The ride takes place on a course closed to traffic, starting and finishing in Crystal City, traveling past the Pentagon, up to Rosslyn, and back. It starts at 7 a.m. and all riders must be off the course by 10 a.m. All finishers receive a medal. Riders who complete nine or more laps receive Gold, riders who complete six to eight laps receive Silver, and those who complete five or fewer receive Bronze.
Active-duty, retired, veterans and reserve armed forces members compete to earn bragging rights as the most competitive service. The service whose participants complete the most total taps, as well as the most laps completed by their top six riders, is honored on stage.
Companies and organizations can also enter as part of the Amazon Corporate Challenge by forming teams to participate.
Whether you decide to marvel at the cycling pros or meet your own challenge to ride the course, you're sure to have an exciting race weekend discovering Arlington and the nation's capital.