Armed Forces Cycling Classic in Washington, DC

Armed Forces Cycling Classic Washington DC

Doug Graham

The U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic, held in the Washington, DC area, is a two-day cycling event including Pro races for qualified professionals, and the Crystal Ride, a non-competitive ride for cycling enthusiasts of all abilities.

The weekend’s races begin with the Air Force Cycling Classic’s Clarendon Cup, a criterion race that showcases the Clarendon businesses around the Clarendon Metro. Sunday events move from Clarendon to Crystal City showcasing the vibrant shops and restaurants of the area with the non-competitive Crystal Ride and the series of races that make up the Crystal Cup. The weekend's race festivities are open to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities and feature events for cycling professionals, amateurs, kids, and spectators.

Event Highlights

  • Kids Race - Kids can register for two different races on different days in Clarendon and Crystal City.
  • Air Force Association Cycling Classic’s Clarendon Cup: This professional race showcases a form of cycling involving a series of high-speed bike races that take place on a 1km course on city streets. As part of the prestigious USA Cycling Professional Road Tour, the Clarendon Cup is known as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S. due to technical demands of the course and the quality of the participants.
  • Challenge Ride - The amateur, non-competitive, participatory ride is open to cyclists of all abilities. The ride is held on a closed, 15km circuit in and around the Pentagon, Crystal City and the Air Force Memorial. Bronze, silver and gold medals are awarded for those who can complete 2, 4 or 6 laps within the 3-hour course closure.
  • Thales Corporate Challenge - Part of the Challenge Ride, this event tracks both laps competed and money raised by each Corporate Challenge Team.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Armed Forces Challenge - A special race for those who served our country, the service branch whose participants completes the most laps, as well as the fastest 6 laps, is honored and recognized on stage during Sunday’s Men’s Pro race.
  • USAA Congressional Challenge - House and Senate staffers from both sides of the aisle go head-to-head in this fun race. At the end of the race, lap totals determine which party gets to take home the win to Capitol Hill.


The Air Force Association’s Wounded Airman Program is the primary beneficiary of the event, receiving proceeds from pledges and from additional fundraising activities throughout the weekend. The Wounded Airman Program supports wounded, ill and injured Airmen with adaptive equipment needs, financial support and care and quality of life items. The Air Force Association (AFA) is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association promoting understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation.

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