Lessons from the Clarendon Cup bike race: Vaccinations, solidarity, and two shocking surprises

Video-lessons from the Clarendon Cup, and antiwar song played at Armed Forces themed race 2 min 28 sec

On the 6th of June, bicycle racing returned to Arlington as the Clarendon Cup ran again after being cancelled in 2020 along with most other sporting events due to the pandemic. It is the widespread use of covid vaccines that made this event possible.

In addition to the obvious results of mass vaccination, several lessons were on display as the race progressed: The most obvious was the importance of solidarity, as breakaways off the front of the pack were reeled in one after another, which is almost guaranteed to happen unless the riders work together. The lead rider is out in the wind putting out over 400 watts of power, those behind need produce much less and can recover. Only by trading off this responsibilty can the breakaway stay ahead. Riders who slack off to save themselves risk the whole break being caught.

As a solo time trialist got off the front of the pack near the end, a suprising musical piece came over the race PA: "War" by the Village People! This at a race which was the second half of the "Armed Forces Cycling Classic." The song is highly antiwar, saying war is good for "absolutely nothing." Someone had a sense of either civic duty or humor, no idea which one.

Then came an even bigger surprise: Steve Vogl, who staged a late-race solo breakaway, held out to the end, but nearly gave it away by mistaking the last lap for the finish. He recovered from that error to win outright. He very nearly lost it all to that mistaken victory salute with one lap still to go

Racers passing the camera close-up

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