The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, one of the cornerstone races of the US criterium scene, was cancelled this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers have announced several events and challenges to keep riders and fans engaged this weekend.
Organisers Arlington Sports announced a free no-drop Zwift ride in partnership with Rapha that will be led by US elite criterium champion Justin Williams and his brother Cory, both of the L39ION (Legion) of Los Angeles team. The ride starts at 11:00 EDT on Saturday, May 30.
AFCC and race announcer Brad Sohner will also host an Instagram Live during the event.
For riders in the Washington, DC area, organisers have an additional Strava challenge, with three different routes: the 37km Bronze, 66km Silver and 100km Gold Medal-level rides.
Participants of both events are encouraged to raise funds for the AFCC's beneficiary, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a program that aids families of fallen military members.
Riders raising $200 or more will receive a limited edition Team TAPS jersey. Interested riders can set up their fundraising page.
"Although a little different this year, we are so grateful to the Armed Forces Cycling Classic for hosting this AFCC Virtual Challenge Ride, and continuing this heartfelt partnership during these uncertain times," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder.
"What's so amazing about these virtual challenge rides is that cyclists--from novices to experts--can ride with Team TAPS, honouring the memory of a fallen military hero, while also supporting our mission to care for those grieving the death of a military loved one."
Organisers are also offering a free rebroadcast of the 2019 Clarendon Cup on Monumental Sports Network as well as a newly produced recap show with appearances from women's and men's winners, Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) and Eric Young (Elevate-Webiplex).
"We hope that we can inspire cyclists to get out and either enjoy the great routes that we have to offer in our Strava Club or join us on our Zwift ride," said Robert Laybourn, President of Arlington Sports and the Founder and Event Director of the Armed Forces Cycling Classic. "We look forward to seeing everyone in person when we return in 2021."
For more information and to register for the AFCC Virtual Challenge Rides, click here.
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