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Cyclists will take to streets

June 26, 2002|by DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

A weekend of bicycle races is coming to Hagerstown.

Part of Hagerstown's North End will be turned into a bicycle course on Saturday, July 6, for the Hagerstown Trust Criterium races.

On Sunday, July 7, racers will take to the Hagerstown Community College campus for the Clifbar Age-Graded Championships.

The two days of races are being organized by the Antietam Velo Club, a Hagerstown-based cycling club.

About 400 cyclists will compete in both days of races, which will begin around 8 a.m., and wrap up by 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., said Tim Lung, co-director of the races.

The races will be held rain or shine, said Lung, a senior planner for the Washington County government.

Both days will feature several races for cyclists of different ages and experience levels.

On July 6, racers will follow a route that will be mainly along Charles Street, Hamilton Lane, Park Lane and Oak Hill Avenue. They will complete 15 to 30 laps per race, depending on the category in which they are competing, Lung said.

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"It will be nice for spectators because the race will be so fast, if people stay in one place they will be able to see (the racers) go by every couple minutes," Lung said.

The streets will be closed to traffic during the races, he said.

Spectators will be able to watch the races for free, Lung said.

Lung said he hopes the races create a party atmosphere in the North End, with people cooking on grills and hanging around with friends along the race route.

Lung said the club held races in Washington County for many years up until 1999. The last two years, the club has organized the state criterium championships in Frederick, Md., he said. Criterium means a short-course race, he said.

The competitors in the coming Hagerstown races will be licensed by the U.S. Cycling Federation.

Race organizer Joseph Jefferson said the events will have an international flavor as he expects cyclists from Iran, Trinidad and Jamaica to compete in the races.

Lung said anyone who wants to race, but does not already have a license, can buy a one-day license for $5.

Entry fees for the races range from $15 to $25, depending on the race category and prizes for each race.

Prizes range from bike equipment for lowest level to $1,000, Lung said.

More information can be found at the club's Web site at www.antietamveloclub.50megs.com.

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