The Armed Forces Cycling Classic is returning to speed around Clarendon and Crystal City for its 25th year early next month.
First beginning in 1998, the annual series of cycling races are set for Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 this year. It features men’s and women’s pro-ams, a kids’ race, and the “Clarendon Cup”, a race that follows a one-kilometer course centered around the Clarendon Metro station.
There will also be the popular “challenge ride” on Saturday morning, where “cycling enthusiasts of all abilities” are invited to bike in what’s thought to be the area’s largest non-competitive ride. The 10-kilometer, closed-to-vehicle-traffic course will take cyclists around the Pentagon, Crystal City, and Rosslyn.
There’s a three-hour time limit and everyone who finishes at least one lap gets at least a bronze medal. Those who finish 6 to 8 laps or more in the three hours will get a silver medal, while those who finish 9 or more will get a gold.
Registration remains open for the challenge race, but organizers told ARLnow they are expecting to sell out this year, with attendance capped at 3,000 riders.
If the race does sell out, that would be about a 25% increase in participation from last year, organizers said.
The pro-am races are “by invite only” with the Clarendon Cup pulling from those races. That’s a 100-kilometer race following a one-kilometer course that loops around the Clarendon Metro station.
“The Clarendon Cup is known as one of the most difficult races of its kind in the U.S. due to the technical demands of the course and the quality of the participants,” the event’s website notes.
Some 140 riders are expected to participate in that race.
“I am very proud to have the Classic stand the test of time, with our 25th Edition”, Armed Forces Cycling Classic founder Rob Laybourn said in a statement. “Cycling as a sport or for leisure continues to grow and evolve in so many ways. We are committed to evolving this event by exposing more folks to cycling as a whole, while contributing positive value to the community as well as the sport.”
The full schedule of the weekend’s events is below.
A number of road closures are planned for the races
While specifics have yet to be released, organizers said the closures are set to be similar to what’s been done over the past 24 years. Course maps show that a large swath of Route 110 will be closed to vehicle traffic from Rosslyn to Pentagon City, in addition to the closure of portions of 12th Street S. and Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
As has been the case in recent years, the Armed Forces Cycling Classic will provide support to Tragedy Assistance for Survivors. The Arlington-based organization provides care and resources for those grieving the death of a military or veteran loved one.
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.
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.
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 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.
Update at 1 p.m. on 6/2/19 — The live feed has ended.
Above is a live webcam from the rooftop of Don Tito in Clarendon.
Crews are are getting ready for the 22nd Annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic and its Clarendon Cup Pro/Am Races, which will kick off at 8 a.m. Sunday (June 2) and run through the streets of Clarendon.
If you’re unable to make it to watch the excitement in person, you can see a live broadcast on the Monumental Sports Network, airing from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m Sunday.
Additional rides and races will take place in Crystal City on Saturday.
Note: the Armed Forces Cycling Classic is an ARLnow advertiser
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Tuesday, June 5
Urban Agriculture: Herbs
Westover Library (788 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Attendees of this workshop will learn how to nurture a kitchen garden that will give them easy access to fresh herbs. Those interested may RSVP here. Attendance is on a first come, first served basis.
Wednesday, June 6
Defining Our Digital Destiny: The Future of Work in Arlington*
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
A panel that includes representatives from Virginia Tech and the county government will discuss how technology will affect the future of the Arlington workforce. Attendees will have the opportunity to network before the panel begins at 6:30.
Brunch and Business: The Successful Journey of an Immigrant Entrepreneur
Arlington Economic Development (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Three Arlington entrepreneurs will discuss their paths from arriving in the United States to starting their own businesses. Admission is free, but registration is required.
Thursday, June 7
YEA! Trade Show
Ballston Center (1000 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5-7 p.m.
The 2018 class of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy will present their new start-up businesses. Goods and services developed by YEA! students will be available for purchase.
Hip Hop Thursday Cycle Class at Ryde in Clarendon
Ryde Cycle (1025 N. Fillmore Street)
Time: 7:45-8:15 p.m.
Join certified Ryde Cycle instructors for a high-intensity cardio workout featuring rhythm-based choreography and a candle-lit studio. First time “ryders” can take advantage of a buy one get one free offer.
Friday, June 8
Connection Crystal City Library (2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade)
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Supplies will be provided to craft unique PRIDE buttons in celebration of Pride Month. RSVP for an event reminder. Attendance is first come, first served.
G.O.A.T. Sports Bar (3028 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
The first Supreme Friday at The G.O.A.T. will feature two floors of DJs and music, video games, HD TVs and more. Bar-goers can register here to skip the line.
Saturday, June 9
Unveiling of Historic Civil Rights Plaque*
Hair Vogue (3815 Lee Highway)
Time: 10:30-10:45 a.m.
A plaque honoring participants in the first day of lunch-counter protests in northern Virginia on June 9, 1960 will be placed at 3815 Lee Highway — formerly the location of the Cherrydale Drug Fair, where the sit-in occurred.
Anniversary Celebration: Cherrydale at 125
Cherrydale Branch Library (2190 Military Road)
Time: 11 a.m.
Cherrydale will commemorate the 1959 desegregation of Stratford Junior High, the 1960 Cherrydale Drug Fair sit-in and the contributions of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department at the Pentagon on 9/11.
Sunday, June 10
The Arlington Triathlon*
Washington-Lee Aquatic Center (1301 N. Stafford Street)
Time: 8-10:30 a.m.
This event invites competitors aged 7-15 to participate in a run-bike-swim race to benefit the Arlington Triathlon Club. Registration information may be found online.
The Armed Forces Cycling Classic
Crystal City area (2121 Crystal Drive)
Time: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Competitive cyclists will compete for the Crystal Cup and cycling enthusiasts of all levels can participate in other events on the second day of the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, following Saturday’s Clarendon Cup races.
Bark in the Park*
James Hunter Park (1229 N. Herndon Street)
Time: 3-6 p.m.
Bring your dog for free live music and Smoking Kow barbecue at the Clarendon dog park. Event is presented by Clarendon Animal Care and Clarendon Alliance.
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Free rosé from Screwtop Wine Bar and light hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Ten at Clarendon courtyard. RSVP on Facebook to attend.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
The UnitedHealthCare professional cycling team made a strong showing at the Armed Forces Cycling Classic this past weekend throughout Arlington.
The team took home two second-placed finishes and one first-place finish in the showpiece Clarendon and Crystal Cups for men and women.
In the women’s Clarendon Cup, Cuban Olympic cyclist Marlies Mejias Garcia took first for Weber Shimano, beating Kendall Ryan of TIBCO-SVB into second and Lizzie Williams of Hagens Berman-Supermint into third.
The following day, UnitedHealthCare finished second in both the men’s and women’s Crystal Cups in Crystal City. Laura Van Gilder took first in the women’s race for Mellow Mushroom Cycling, ahead of UHC’s Laurette Hanson in second and Ingrid Drexel Clouthier of TIBCO-SVB in third.
Tyler Magner took victory in the men’s Crystal Cup for Holowesko Citadel, ahead of UHC’s Sebastian Haedo in second and Brandon Feheery of The Crit Life in third.
In addition to the competitive races, the Challenge Ride offered a closed course to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities in and around the Pentagon, Crystal City and the Air Force Memorial, while young riders could also test themselves in a kid’s race. The races closed roads across various neighborhoods throughout the weekend.
Below are the top 10 in each of the four main races, with teams indicated in parentheses:
Women’s Clarendon Cup
- Marlies Mejias Garcia (Weber Shimano)
- Kendall Ryan (TIBCO-SVB)
- Lizzie Williams (Hagens Bergman Supermint)
- Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthCare)
- Ingrid Drexel Clouthier (TIBCO-SVB)
- Laura Jorgenson (Mellow Mushroom Cycling)
- Janelle Cole (United HealthCare)
- Laura Stephens (TIBCO-SVB)
- Diana Penuela (United HealthCare)
- Colleen Gulick (Pickle Juice Pro Cycling Team)
Men’s Clarendon Cup
- Carlos Alzate Escobar (UnitedHealthCare)
- John Murphy (Holowesko Citadel Racing Team)
- Adam Myerson (Team Skyline)
- Rafael Meran (Dave Jordan Racing)
- Sean McElroy (Chainheart)
- Carlos Brenes Mata (Team Somerville Bicycle Shop)
- Brandon Feheery (The Crit Life)
- Jake Keough (Team Skyline)
- Sam Rosenholtz (CCB Velotooler Cycling Team)
- Ben Renkema (Palmetto State Medical)
Women’s Crystal Cup
- Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Cycling)
- Laurette Hanson (UnitedHealthCare)
- Ingrid Drexel Clouthier (TIBCO-SVB)
- Marlies,Mejias Garcia (Weber Shimano)
- Lizzie Williams (Hagens Bergman Supermint)
- Colleen Gulick (Pickle Juice Pro Cycling Team)
- Diana Penuela (UnitedHealthCare)
- Tina Pic (Papa Johns)
- Brianna Walle (TIBCO-SVB)
- Kyrstin Bluhm (Fearless Femme Racing)
Men’s Crystal Cup
- Ty Magner (Holowesko Citadel Racing Team)
- Sebastian Haedo (UnitedHealthCare)
- Brandon Feheery (The Crit Life)
- Thomas Humphreys (Battley Harley-Davidson / Local)
- Jake Keough (Team Skyline)
- Brendan Rhim (Holowesko Citadel Racing Team)
- Patrick Raines (Hearts Racing Club)
- Matt McLoone (Battley Harley-Davidson / Local)
- Scottie Weiss (SeaSucker)
- Adrian Hegyvary (United HealthCare)
The streets of Arlington are being readied ahead of this weekend’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic, the arrival of thousands of competing bicyclists, support teams and spectators.
Races will take place Saturday and Sunday for amateurs and professionals alike, with police set to close roads across various neighborhoods to accommodate the festivities.
And in preparation, as of Friday afternoon crews have begun putting out traffic cones, tents and barriers for the competition, which begins early Saturday morning.
The Capital Weather Gang anticipates heat and humidity will descend on the area this weekend, so riders and spectators should be careful and stay hydrated.
The 20th Armed Forces Cycling Classic will take place in Arlington this weekend, and one of its former champions is set to get back in the saddle.
“After being a professional for 10-plus years, I began to have heart arrhythmias…I had major complications,” Keough wrote in an email.
Keough will be cycling with Team Skyline, run by the acclaimed bicyclist Ryan DeWald. DeWald, like Keough, suffers from another chronic medical condition: Type 1 diabetes. Both were diagnosed in 2014 and took time away.
“I got thin. I got sick. I didn’t know what was wrong with me,” DeWald said. “I missed one weekend of racing then I got back on my bike, I got on insulin, I re-sorted out how to race my bike on insulin. I worked with some of the best doctors in the world.”
When DeWald re-entered the cycling realm after his brief hiatus, he made an immediate impact. In 2015, he was ranked third nationally as a Category One rider, out of 1,475 cyclists.
Despite that impressive statistic, DeWald remembers when everybody told him to stop biking. He refused to take their advice.
“I had nothing to lose so I just kept racing the bike. Now, I’m turning more into an inspirational athlete with dynamic speaking skills,” DeWald said.
He hopes to eventually transfer out of bike racing and take on more leadership roles.
DeWald started the foundation, Winning the Race with Diabetes, to help people manage Type 1 diabetes while also engaging in athletic lifestyles. In addition to running Team Skyline, he runs a team bike shop in Reading, Penn.
While DeWald was getting back on his bike, Keough underwent cardiac ablation surgery. The procedure caused him to go into cardiac arrest.
“I was told by the best sports cardiologists in the world that I could never be an athlete again and that I should live a sedentary life,” Keough wrote.
Yet, Keough persisted. He takes medication to keep his heart rate low and has a sprinter plate on his chest.
“I’m back racing on my own terms and trying not to let my health issues dictate how I live my life,” Keough wrote.
“I think he’s taking his life into his own hands every time he sprints…I think he’s a few steps away from winning a big one,” DeWald said of his teammate. And after years apart, the men rekindled their friendship via social media this past winter.
“He was telling me about what happened to him, he asked me about my condition and we started comparing notes,” DeWald said.
Shortly thereafter, Keough joined DeWald’s team. Team Skyline rides about 15,000 miles per year and races 50-60 events annually.
This weekend’s race will not be Keough’s first since leaving retirement. However, he remains surprised by his recent success.
“I didn’t really plan on making a comeback. But, after racing Speed Week this spring and finishing fifth at Athens Twilight and fourth overall, I realized I could still be a factor at the top level of the sport I love,” Keough wrote.
Skyline is hopeful for this weekend. Keough’s youngest brother, Luke Keough, will also be participating this weekend, on a different team.
“Obviously, as a former winner, the goal is to get back to the top step. But, more importantly, it’s to have a blast,” Keough wrote.
“We’re going to try to win,” DeWald said. “Jake has just got to beat his brother [in the race]. How hard can it be to beat your younger brother?”
The Armed Forces Cycling Classic consists of two days of races: the Clarendon Cup on Saturday, in Clarendon, and the Crystal Cup and non-competitive Challenge Ride on Sunday, in Crystal City. The pro-am races, along with corresponding kids races and the Challenge Ride, are open to spectators.
A cyclist was hospitalized in critical condition after a crashing during the Air Force Association Cycling Classic in Crystal City on Sunday.
The crash happened near the beginning of the amateur, non-competitive Challenge Ride Sunday morning.
“There was a collision at the beginning of the course on [Route] 110 underneath 395,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “A female cyclist was transported to George Washington University Hospital in critical condition. Two additional victims suffered minor injuries and were released from the hospital on Sunday. The cause of the crash is under investigation.”
A witness suggested that the crash might have been caused by a medical issue, though that has not been confirmed.
“She was all alone and nobody within several feet of her,” the witness reported. “Her bike just started to wobble and she went down.”
Another participant in the ride described the incident as “a very serious crash involving multiple riders” on the first lap.
At last check, the woman was said to be in stable condition at the hospital.
The 2016 Air Force Association Cycling Classic was held over the weekend.
The event included pro and amateur races in Clarendon and Crystal City. Above are some of the sights and sound from Saturday’s races in Clarendon.
Results from the pro races can be found here.
Video by Omar DeBrew
Those heading to the bicycle races are encouraged to use Metro, despite the ongoing SafeTrack maintenance work on the Orange and Silver lines. On Saturday, Clarendon on the Orange and Silver lines will be closest station. On Sunday, the closest station will be Crystal City on the Blue and Yellow lines.
For those who decide to drive, there will be restrictions on street parking with temporary “no parking” signs being placed in the race areas.
On Saturday, the following roads will be closed from 4:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Wilson Blvd. from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Blvd.
- Clarendon Blvd. from Washington Blvd. to N. Fillmore Street
- Washington Blvd. from Wilson Blvd. to N. Highland Street
- N. Highland Street from Wilson Blvd. to Washington Blvd.
- N. Garfield Street / N. Fillmore Street from Wilson Blvd. to Washington Blvd.
On Sunday, the following roads will be closed from 4:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Crystal Drive from 15th Street S. through S. 23rd Street
- Wilson Blvd. from N. Kent Street to the ramp to Route 110
- S. Clark Street from 20th Street S. to 23rd Street S.
- 20th Street S. from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
- 18th Street S. from Crystal Drive to Bell Street
- 23rd Street S. from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
- Crystal Drive (west side) from 23rd St S. to the Century Center parking garage
Photo courtesy Tim Kelley
This weekend, over 2,000 cyclists will gather in Arlington for the annual Air Force Association Cycling Classic.
The Cycling Classic will hold races for all levels of cyclists ranging from amateurs to elite.
The first day will take place in Clarendon and the second will take place in Crystal City. On Sunday, before the normal slate of races and rides, the event will honor the memory of a fellow cyclist and race competitor.
A ceremony will be held Sunday morning to honor former Navy SEAL and two-time Challenge Ride gold medalist Tim Holden, who was killed last summer after being hit by a car while riding his bike in Bethesda. A special presentation will be made to Holden’s wife, Pam, as part of the ceremony.
The weekend’s schedule is as follows:
- 8:00 a.m. – Amateur Races
- 10:05 a.m. – Women’s Elite Pro Race
- 11:35 a.m. – Kid’s Race
- 12:00 p.m. – Men’s Pro Race
- 6:45 a.m. – Coin Ceremony for Tim Holden
- 7:00 a.m. – Challenge Ride
- 10:20 a.m. – Men’s Pro Race
- 12:25 p.m. – Kid’s Race
- 12:35 p.m. – Women’s Elite Race