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Cycling is ageless in Saturday's Hagerstown Challenge Criterium

July 09, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Junior racers pack a turn Saturday morning during the Hagerstown Challenge Criterium in the north end.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

Ed Kantner's first-ever cycling race at Saturday's Hagerstown Challenge Criterium appeared to fit the saying of "better late than never" particularly well.

The 69-year-old Hagerstown man finished last among seven men in the age 65-and-over category of the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association age-graded championship event hosted by the Antietam Velo Club.

"But I finished, that's the important thing," Kantner said, laughing. "I didn't (crash) and I pinned my numbers on my jersey right ..."

While commuting back and forth from his job at Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, Kantner said he didn't have much time to do much riding until after he retired.

Since then, he joined the Antietam Velo Club and has dedicated more time to riding for the last eight years.

After racing the rectangular course along Woodland Way, West Irvin Avenue, The Terrace and Park Lane, Kantner was sweaty, but still standing.

"It was tough. I was surprised at the speed," Kantner said. "They never let up. No, I had to really bust it to try to even stay close to them and I never really did."

Kantner was among more than 250 entrants in the cycling event, which included junior races that were open to children as young as Corbin Stottlemyer, whose 11th birthday is Monday.

Stottlemyer, who has been riding for about a year, finished last among children ages 10 to 14, but his parents, Bryan and Laura, were no less proud.

"I like the speed," said the Jefferson County boy, who joined his father on the race course in Hagerstown's North End.

Bryan Stottlemyer raced Saturday as part of the Capital Region Fire & Police racing team.

Next year, Bryan Stottlemyer said he plans to be part of Team Integrity Cycling, a newly formed racing team based in the Eastern Panhandle.

The team was launched this year with only a junior division, said Bryan Stottlemyer, who was impressed with Saturday's event.

"Antietam Velo does an awesome job setting up events," Stottlemyer said.

Race directors Tim Lung and Joe Jefferson welcomed Saturday's road conditions, which they said were aided by Friday's rainfall.

"We've had a very safe race so far," Lung said after all but two races had finished.

 Complete results of Saturday's races will be posted on the Antietam Velo Club's website at www.avcracing.com.

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