Virginia State Championship Bicycle Race Held in Albemarle
The Virginia State Championship Bicycle Race rolled through pouring rain in Albemarle County Sunday.
Some of the top cyclists from Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. competed on courses that looped around the Miller School in Batesville. The race ran from Dick Woods Road to Taylors Gap Road and ended on Miller School Road.
More than 200 people peddled their way through a series of races that started at 8 a.m. and didn't finish till 3 p.m. Age groups ranging from 10 to 70-years-old trekked over some tough terrain.
"This is the championships against the people that these kids and older adults are racing against all year," race director Ruth Stornetta said.
The races ran throughout the day. The shortest course was 15 miles. The longest stretched 80 miles. Much of it was grueling, winding up and down steep terrain. The day began and ended with sunshine but hard rain pelted some of the younger racers. Adam Croft took it all in stride as he crossed the finish line to win the race for the boys in the 13 to 14-year-old age group.
"It's just all that training has paid off and everything you do has come together," Croft said. Croft said he prepared by racing in intervals and looks forward to competing in the next race for his age group.
Prizes ranged from gold, silver and bronze medals to cash prizes and points. Racers say the points are the most valuable because they go toward a year-long competition for best all-around rider.
"If they win the championship it is very prestigious and they can win free entry into races the entire next year," Stornetta said.
Ben King, a professional cyclist from central Virginia, showed up to support his brother, his uncle and his father, who were all participating in the race.
"It's nice to see the whole cycling community out in Virginia in supporting the race and getting behind each other it is a good atmosphere," he said.