ARLINGTON, VA -- More than 300 amateur and professional cyclists participated in the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic, which was held Sunday in the Washington, DC, area.
The event included an amateur participatory ride that was open to cyclists of all abilities, a professional men’s 150K race and the Academy Shootout, featuring teams from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
“This is more than a little competition,” Bill Anderson, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, and a participant in the cycling event, said before the event. “These three academies have come here to do battle. We’ve got 15 members from each of the academies. They’re intense. I think it’ll do great for competition between the academies and also drive some camaraderie. The [cadets] are strong, focused, and they are very, very fast.”
This was the second year the Air Force hosted the event, formerly called the Crystal City Classic, as part of its efforts to build a signature sports event in the Washington, DC, area. Proceeds from the event go to service members who sustained traumatic brain injuries while serving in the military.
“Just like the Marine Corps Marathon and the Army 10K, [events] like this reach out to the community and let them see their services,” says Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. “The cycling event is a vehicle to get to the greater good and have some fun on a beautiful day here in the Capitol.”
Although the Air Force team won the timed trials before the event, the Navy cadets garnered the most total points and took home the title for the overall event.
“I think the cycling classic is a great opportunity to get the academies together,” Moseley says. “We do a lot together in the real world, we do a lot together in combat, and we work together as a joint team. The academies have a lot of athletic interface, and what a treat it is at the Air Force Classic to [compete against the other academies' cycling teams]. I think it’s just indicative of the close cooperation and partnership we have across the board.”