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Monday, June 3, 2013

Franklinton cycling event takes it to the streets [Dispatch]


FRED SQUILLANTE | DISPATCH
Cyclists jockey for position as they turn from Starling Street onto W. Rich Street during one of the races.
For about five hours yesterday, dozens of cyclists chased a Scion through the streets of Franklinton while being pursued by a motorcyclist in a referee’s jersey, all to the sound of LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It. The high-speed procession was actually the Tour of Franklinton Race and Rally, a new closed-circuit bike race that organizers hope will be an annual spectacle in Columbus.
Spectators lined the urban neighborhood’s typically quiet streets to watch cyclists speed through the course, which measured only eight-tenths of a mile and featured six turns.
The short course meant spectators could see the contenders up to 30 times as they jockeyed for position during one of several high-speed races. Cyclists in the final race averaged 28 mph — with sprints approaching 40 mph — during the hour-long criterium race.
“It’s a chess match,” said Jeremy Grimm, a professional cyclist from Orrville, Ohio, who won the professional-level race. “It’s as much a mental competition as it is physical.”

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