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Armed Forces Cycling Classic to return in June

Armed Forces Cycling Classic in 2019 (courtesy photo)

The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, a series of races around Clarendon and Crystal City, is set to take place the first weekend of June.

The Cycling Classic will be held Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5. The in-person event resumed last year following the 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic. (The 2020 event featured virtual rides instead.)

“Cyclists with USA Cycling licenses are invited to race in Arlington on both days,” the event website says. “Racing will feature the Nation’s top Pro men and women. Amateurs of all abilities will also be able to participate on Saturday morning’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic Challenge Ride!”

The Challenge Ride, the area’s largest non-competitive ride, will kick off the weekend on Saturday at 7 a.m., with a closed course route set to take riders through Crystal City, the Pentagon, Rosslyn and back. All who finish the ride will a receive a medal, according to the event’s website.

“Gold, silver and bronze medals are earned for those who can complete 9, 6 or 3 laps within the 3 hour time limit,” the website says. The additional laps will be required compared to previous years to accommodate the current road construction.

The courses will prompt a mix of road closures and lane closures, with speed restrictions.

Slow speed zones are expected to be set up from 15th Street S. to Cheerios Park, as well as a section of Wilson Blvd, according to the Challenge Ride route map on the event’s website.

For the 2021 cycling series, several roads in Crystal City and Clarendon were closed for most of the race days, including parts of Crystal Drive, Wilson Blvd, and Route 110, as well as N. Highland, N. Garfield and N. Fillmore streets.

The 24th Clarendon Cup’s 5-turn course for professional and amateur cyclists is set to begin on Wilson Blvd then leads cyclists to Washington Blvd, N. Highland Street, to Clarendon Blvd and Fillmore, according to a route map.

“The famous 1km course will test the athletes skill and stamina, as it carries a reputation as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S. due to technical demands of the course and the quality of the participants,” the website says.

A map of the 2022 Clarendon Cup race (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

The day of the Clarendon Cup starts at 8 a.m. with various amateur races, followed by the women’s professional and amateurs race at 10 a.m., according to the website.

Beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m., free races for children 9 and under are held before the last race of the day — the Clarendon Cup Pro/1 Men’s Invitational, which is set to start just after noon.

Registration for amateur riders is open online, according to the event’s website. Interested participants can join individually or as a member of a team.

The 2022 schedule of events (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

The event — which is sponsored by brands like Boeing, Amazon and United Airlines — has partnered with the Clarendon-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting people who lost a loved one in the military. Participants in the challenges are encouraged to join as a fundraiser for the organization.

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