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‘How you handle the curves’

Professional women bicyclists speed around the curve from Main Street onto Fifth Street during the 12th annual Historic Riverton Criterium on a warm, breezy Sunday afternoon June 11.

Hundreds of residents line race route and cheer on professional bicyclists during historic Riverton Criterium June 11

There was plenty of excitement and lots of noise as hundreds of residents cheered bicycle riders speeding around the race route through the scenic town of Riverton on Sunday, June 11.

The cheers were deafening when Maya Brothers raised her hands while crossing the finish line first to win the first race during the 12th annual Historic Riverton Criterium.

Celebrating on the podium after the women’s professional race are second place finisher Caroyln Henry (left to right), the winner popping the champagne Maya Brothers and third place finisher Diana Cano.

Brothers was followed closely by Carolyn Henry and Diana Cano.

Watching intently and getting ready for the men’s professional bicycle race were Frank Ortiz of the VeloJawn team and Bryan Berman of the Rothman Verder team.

“I love the technical aspects of the Criterium,” Ortiz said. “There are six corners, five lefts and one right. It’s as much about the fitness as it is about handling the bike around the turns.”

He said there were 71 bicyclists in his race, which consisted of more than 30 laps starting and finishing at Christ Episcopal Church on Fourth and Main streets.

“I am looking forward to competing,” said Ortiz, who bought his first bicycle 20 years ago at age 31 and started racing one year later. “Riverton is a beautiful town and the street pavement is very good for riding. I like coming here each year.”

Berman said he also liked the scenic town with the wide, tree-lined streets. The key to winning is “how you handle the corners,” he said.

Event organizer Carlos Rogers, a retired professional bicyclist, was busy all day on the microphone announcing each race while a disc jockey across the street played lively music.

The USA Cycling competition began at 1 p.m. and there were races all afternoon.

Rogers also organized a short children’s races for ages 7-9 and a special Beach Cruiser Blitz one lap race for all adults.

During his remarks before the second race, Rogers told the crowd that he was thrilled to have the race in Riverton for the past 12 years and thanked all the local sponsors who made it happen.

Residents lined the entire course all afternoon, which started at the church, made a left onto Fifth Street, a left at Fulton Street, a left onto Fourth Street, a right onto Cinnaminson Street, a left onto Second Street and then a left onto Main Street up to the church.

Enjoying the festivities from the front of the Riverton Library are Kim and Brooks Paulsen with their niece Elle Mierzwicki and daughter Elliot Paulsen.

It was a fun Sunday in Riverton, and the riders were already looking forward to next year.

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