The Brompton U.S. Championship, perhaps the quirkiest and most British bicycle race in the new world, heads to the streets of Washington, D.C., this summer for the event’s fourth annual installment.
The 2014 Brompton US Championship takes place over three days from Friday, July 11-14, and will see hundreds of Brompton folding bicycle owners, known as Bromptoneers, go head to head and wheel to wheel in a national championship race that’s as much about sartorial splendor as serious race strategy. The winner receives a free trip to London to compete in the Brompton World Championship. Spectators are expected to line the streets around D.C.’s iconic RFK Stadium and watch as the race takes in several circuits of a special racecourse drawn out along the side of the Anacostia River.
The 2014 Championship race is hosted by leading bicycle retailer and community hub BicycleSPACE. They accept the torch from Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis where the race took place in 2012 and 2013. Contestants must wear suit jacket, shirt and tie as well as a helmet. No Lycra or spandex is allowed. The Championship weekend also includes social activities for spectators including “A Day at the Races.” Dressed in fashionable attire, spectators are invited to meet at BicycleSPACE at 10:30am to participate in a large social ride and make their way to the Championship to be able to cheer on the racers.
“We’re thrilled to see this soon to be iconic event grow each year,” says Luke Breen, owner of Calhoun Cycle, Minneapolis and master of ceremonies for the past two years. “Last year the field was competitive and the title fiercely contested but DC is the seat of power as they say, so we’re eager to see how the proceedings and old rivalries from yearly competitors take on a new level of partisanship. We wish DC all the best.”
“We’re already seeing a ton of registrations come in for this year’s championship race,” says Jordan Mittelman, General Manager at BicycleSPACE. “Registrations are pouring in from cities all over the United States, so this year’s event should be the most fiercely contested yet.”
Each Brompton U.S. Championship event consists of a closed loop course with a Le-Mans style start in which Bromptoneers race to their bicycles, unfold them and race off around the course. A second event, the speed fold rewards top fold and unfold speed skills.
International Brompton Racing began with The Brompton World Championship, first held in 2006, established by one of Spain’s Brompton dealers. 2010 saw the introduction of regional championships in Spain, Japan and the USA. Each national champion then goes on to compete at the World Championships in the UK in late July.