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2nd Annual Martin Luther King Classic

Los Angeles, January 20, 2003

By Casper Casparian

The Second Annual Martin Luther King Classic held in Los Angeles is unusual for two reasons: first, the prize purse is exceptionally rich for an amateur race ($500 for first place) and all categories from one to five race together in a single group.

The race started in near-darkness and in cool conditions (10 degrees Celcius) on a flat, straight-line course with two U-turns. Seventy riders, including top local amateurs and semi-pros, lined up for the no-holds-barred race. Lasting only 40 minutes and with such a large purse at stake, the pace was blistering from the opening gun. An early attack by John Wordin (Hot Wheels Cycling) jumped up the speed and when he was caught, a group of six riders went clear and was not caught by the bunch again.

Jan Bratkowski, visiting on a training camp from Munich, Germany, gave his Freeman T. Porter team its first victory of the 2003 season. Harm Jansen, still showing top form despite his semi-retirement, held off a charging David Brinton (Hot Wheels Cycling). In a reversal of Jansen's strategy, 1988 U.S. Olympian Brinton is coming back into bicycle racing after several years outside of competition.


Images by Casper Casparian

  • Harm Jansen, formerly of Saturn, leads former Olympians and Hot Wheels Cycling Team members Thurlow Rogers and David Brinton wearing last year's kits.
  • German Jan Bratkowski (Freeman T. Porter) takes the win ahead of Harm Jansen (2nd) and David Brinton (3rd).
  • Harm Jansen, 2nd, Jan Bratkowski (Freeman T. Porter), 1st, and David Brinton, 3rd
  • The chase group couldn't catch the winners as a group of five, led by Jan Bratkowski, charges to the finish line.
  • Jan Bratkowski takes the win

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