An annual rite of cycling in the DC Metro area, the Air Force Cycling Classic has seen it’s share of changes. The race that was once simply known as the Clarendon Cup, and eventually as the CSC Invitational, used to attract numerous European ProTour/WorldTour/WhateverTour teams. It was awesome to see local teams mixing it up with the guys you see in the big races overseas. For the fans, it was a chance to mingle closely with their heroes.
Once the UCI began enforcing the rule that WorldTour teams can’t participate in lower categorized races, the field thinned as well as the fans. Even though the win is contested just as fiercely as before (if not more), the previous buzz simply isn’t there.
Regardless, I’m/we’re extremely fortunate to have pro racing so local. I’m able to ride only a few miles and I’m in the thick of the action. Special thanks to Arlington Sports, Inc. for continuing this tradition.