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Lehigh Valley Rapha Gentlemen's Race
The third annual Rapha NE Gentlemen's Race took place on the 21st of May in the beautiful Lehigh Valley. Twenty teams approached the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania knowing that the day would likely be a memorable day of riding.
On paper, the 135-mile Bill Strickland designed course looked challenging, but manageable. Turns out, this part of the country gives a whole other meaning to the phrase 'rolling hills'. The climbing seemed eternal, the descents far too short, the gravel brutal. To top it all off, there is a hill called Bake Oven Road where the "road" betters you coming and going with a unique mix of clay that sticks to your tires on the uphill and potholes larger than a man-hole on the way down.
Perfect ingredients for a successful Gentlemen's Race. Finishing ala Roubaix in the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, smiles prevailed over the hurting legs. Riding an additional 15-miles because of a wrong turn was soon forgotten by cold beer and shared misery in the form of satisfaction.
The winners were the trio of tandems from Boston called the 52 Vincents. Second place was Moots, from Steamboat, CO. The home team from Bicycling Magazine clocked the fastest time with 8 hours and 55 minutes. (Note: yes, that was the fastest time of the day, not a typo.)
A huge congrats and thanks to all who said yes and partook this year as we moved down the east coast to PA. And, a huge thanks to all at Bicycling Magazine and Rodale for helping make this race one to remember.
The full race report, photos and film to come mid-June.
Photos: Chris Milliman
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