The US Open Cycling Championship that ran Saturday from Williamsburg to Richmond served up an instant classic. I pray it’s not a one-time thing. That race proved truly compelling. And it played out much like the northern European classics run in the spring, where a trip up some cobbled wall proves decisive. Sunday at the Ronde de Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) it was the legendary Muur; Saturday in Richmond it was Libby Hill, offered up to the race eight times and carving the field down each time.
The race almost didn’t start, the weather was so bad – 18 degrees, wet snow and wind.
But since the race was scheduled for same day national TV (!!!) the riders decided to go anyway so as not to look like wimps. Here they are riding out of Colonial Billsburg.
Unlike Belgium and northern France, cobbles are rare in eastern Virginia, so the race worked a circuit in Richmond to repeat them – eight times – up the wall, in the gutter…
Like the classics, the US Open delivered a strong man to the finish: Canadian Svein Tuft, looking somewhat like he just finished mushing his dogs across the Northwest Territories.