Fort Ritchie, Md (July 17th) Todd Bickling won the MABRA Age Grade Crit Championship in the Masters 3/4 category today in dominating fashion with a solo breakaway effort with 1/2 a lap left. This is the first win of Todd’s cycling career.
Team Bike Doctor brought six riders to hunt for the jersey and medal and general bragging rights in Fort Ritchie, Maryland. The course was changed back to the regular Fort Ritchie course that is used in May due to safety concerns from the promoter, Antietam Velo Club’s Joe Jefferson. “We changed our minds this week because of on particular corner that would only allow two riders to enter a corner at very high speeds. With several crashes last week, we really wanted to make sure we offered a safe course…so we changed to this familiar course at the same venue.”
Nobody seemed to be complaining, especially members of Team Bike Doctor who have had good success at the event with a Cat 3 win in 2008. The pace was quick but not blistering. Withing the first few laps, Steve F and Robb H got into a promising looking break of about 8. Knowing the course was an advantage for the team. After the break was caught, the field stayed together for the majority of the race. With 10 laps to go, beer premes were offered and Team Bike Doctor won them all (Ian M, Steve F, Robb H).
Meanwhile, Todd B. stayed cool in the pack maintaining position behind teammates. During the closing laps, Ian M. went off the front for several laps. When he was caught with 3 to go, Frank R countered with his own solo attempt lingering out in the perfect position. With the pace quickening, Todd B set up for the counter with 1/2 a lap to go and nailed it to the line with 50 meters to spare, unsure he REALLY WON “because the lap cards still said 1 to go!”
Meanwhile the rest of the team sat in the chasing slipstream of the competition and saddled up for the sprint. Steve F and Ian M secured 6th and 7th. Cliff C. and Robb H rounded up the top 20 with 13th and 19th. Frank must have been too tired from that last effort to sprint. What a wuss!! Not a bad day at the office!