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National Capital Open-Press

Summary of press coverage of the National Capital Open

Press clippings from the Washington Post are summarized due to copyright restrictions. Velo-news clippings are often scanned and linked.
Search terms:
  • National and Capital and Open
  • race and ellipse
  • bicycle and race (from 1901-1935)
Most of the sources in the Washington Post before 1935 refer to racing at the Polo fields in West Potomac Park, with events promoted by Century Road Club

 Year Reference
1921 "State Bike Champions in Road Races Today" 1921-Oct-9, Washington Post p 59
  • road-racing championships of America
  • Notes that races will take place on the "Potomac Park Speedway"
1921 "Wireless Notes" Otto Eisele American Bicyclist and Motorcyclist, July, 1949, p 42
  • An article about the reconstitution of the National Capitol Wheelmen as the Washington Cycle Club notes that they "have events scheduled in Washington at the well-known Polo Field course  in the Nationa's Capitol (sic), scene of the A.B.L first national Championships in 1921."
  • Mentions Edward F. Ward secretary, Michael Seeger, Edward Bieber and William Cauffman.
By G. Sprocketfork Considine..  1935. Olympic Cycle Hopefuls to Vie In Capital Sweepstakes Sunday. The Washington Post (1923-1954), November 10, (accessed January 29, 2011).
  • meeting will be held to discuss moving from Ellipse to Polo Field oval in West Potomac Park
1935 "Bieber Is Chief D.C. Hope in Bike Race,"
George Considine.
The Washington Post Nov 21, 1935; pg. 20
  •  "pre-olympic 100-kilometer bicycle race around the Ellipse"
  • Beiber was district champion in 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33 and was "easily the most colorful Washington rider ever developed"
  • Mentions 1933 National Capital Labor Day Sweepstakes.
1935 "Feminine Bike Rider Cajoles Press Into Disastrous Race"
By George Considine.
The Washington Post (1923-1954); Nov 22, 1935;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1994)
pg. 23
  • Marjorie Ward
1935 "Bicyclists to Compete Today In Preliminary Olympic Tests,"
The Washington Post, Nov 17, 1935; pg.
  • Has complete start list for men and women
1935 By George Considine.  1935. Star Cyclists To Vie Here Today :Compete in Sweepstakes, Postponed by Weather Last Sunday.. The Washington Post (1923-1954), November 24, (accessed January 27, 2011). 
  • photo of Ella Brinkman, Germany
  • Start lists 
  • promoted by National Park District, League of American Wheelmen and Century Road Club of America
  • Notes that it was rained out on original date
1935 "Logan Defeats 55 Cyclists in Bike Marathon Around Ellipse,"
George Considine. The Washington Post, Nov 25, 1935; pg. 19
  • 55 starters; 13 finishers; 52.5 miles in 3:06:40. Race shortened from 62.5 miles because of darkness.
  • Ed Bieber punctured
  • "The intense cold and the rough track combined to wreak havoc on the aspirants for next year's Olympic team"
  • Women's race 6 miles in 19:57.4
  • Winners
    • (M)Buster Logan
    • (W) Lois Albey
 1936 "Bicycle Races Listed Today At Ellipse,"
The Washington Post, Oct 11, 1936; pX5
  • "10 events on 2nd National Capital Sweepstakes"
  • "sponsored by the National Capital Parks and Welfare Association"
  • start list for the 15 mile "open sprint race" include Ed Bieber, Victor Fraysse, Robert Kennon, Furman Kugler, Jackie Simes
1936 "Simes Captures Pair of Bike Races Here;" The Washington Post; Oct 12, 1936; p X16
  • "2500 watch sweepstakes"
  • 15 mile event run as a points race
  • "the meet, which was replete with thrilling finishes, spills and narrow escapes from injury."
  • "D.C. Riders outclassed
  • Winners (M) Jackie Simes (W) Lois Albey
  • Photograph shows Lois Albey on a "paperboy bike" with fenders
  • Furman Kugler won the Junior Boys 5 mile event. 
  • article describes the main event as an "open sprint race" but lists the points won by each rider
  • article notes that Simes won the National Road championship two weeks before.
1937  "Bike Meet Set;"
The Washington Post; Sep 5, 1937; p X2
  • "third annual  National Capital Bicycle Sweepstakes"
  • 15 mile open sprint race
1938 "Washington Cycle Star Sets Record;"
The Washington Post; Oct 17, 1938; p 15
  • Winner: Billy Cauffman of he National Capital Wheelmen. 15 miles in 46:11.6
  • Women: Doris Kopsky
  • Crowd of 8000
  • several different events
  • Kopsky described as "former Olympic star"
1954 "Bicycle Races At Ellipse Today;"
The Washington Post and Times Herald Sep 5, 1954; pC6
  • 40 mile bicycle race
1954  "New Jersey's Chiselko Wins 40-Mile Bicycle Race Here;"
George Brantner
The Washington Post and Times Herald Sep 6, 1954; p 14.
  • "Bicycle racing, on the National level, returned to Washington yesterday for the first time since 1938..."
  • Winners
    • (M) John Chiselko, Somerville NJ ; 40 miles (64 laps) in 1:38:46
    • (W) Nancy Niemann 5 miles in 15:38
    • (J) Pat DeCollibus 15miles in 42:33
1955 "Mertens Wins Race;" The Washington Post and Times Herald ; Aug 8, 1955; p 11
  • Winners
    • (M) Francois Merten  30 il in 1:10:48 (lapped the field)
    • (W) Ruth Sibley, Washington Cyclc Club 3 miles in 7:49.5
  • states that Mertens set an ellipse record for 15 miles. Reference to a 1939 race won by Jackie Simes in 48:40.2, but that probably refers to the 1936 race
  "Bicycle Races Will Be Oct. 7." The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959),  August 29, 1956, (accessed February 9, 2011).
  •  "3rd National Capital Open...under the sponsorship of the Washington Cycle Club
  • 40 mile race. Junior 5-mile race, midget 3 mile race and "stock-bike race to determine the District of Columbia champion between 11 and 14 years old"
1956 "Today's Events"
The Washington Post and Times Herald Oct 7, 1956; p B9
  • "Bicycle Races, National Capital Open, Elllipse 10AM-1PM"
(1) Washington Daily News 1956-10-5 p 25 "Headed our way"
(2) WDN 1956-10-2 p41 "Miss Washington will award Bicycle Champs" p 41   
(3) WES 1956-10-5 p? "100 riders entering bike race Sunday"
(4) WES 1956-10-? "Capital Bibycle (sic) Races Set for Ellipse Today
(5) WDN 1956-10-6 "National Bicycle Races Tomorrow"
WES washington Evening Star
WDN Washington Daily News

(1) Washington Cycle Club.  PHotograph of Gerald Teewen
(2) "third annual"
(5) "16 year old Metzlar twins Jim and John from Newark
all from Clipping collection provided by Gerald Teeuwen

  • No reports of any races in Washington DC from the Washington Post except one article from 1961-07-23 pC2 about racing in West Potomac Park
1963 Special to The New York Times.  "France Will Present Bike Race in Capital." New York Times (1923-Current file),  June 16, 1963, (accessed February 11, 2011).
  • Ellipse course south of the White House
1963 "Two Bicycle Races Slated Here Sunday"
The Washington Post, Times Herald; Jun 20, 1963; p C9
  • "The National Capital Open gets rolling this Sunday afternoon at the Ellipse, the French Embassy announced yesterday."
  • Sponsored by the French Embassy and the Federation of Washington Area Cycle Clubs
  • 30 mile senior race counts toward the U.S. National AllRound championships
  • Named riders. Francois Mertens, Oliver Ward. Charles Towers, Maryland State Champion.
  • "French Ambassador Herve Alphand will award trophies."
1963       The Washington Post, June 25 1963, p B6 Photograph
  • Caption. "The Winner: Ambassador of France, Herve Alphand (left) presents the winning trophy to William Halliday of the USAF Cycling Team, who won the 30-mile National Capital Open bicycle race on the Ellipse...sponsored by the Embassy of France and the Federation of Washington Area Cycle Clubs."
1964 National Cycling Review, Joe Hoviss, Staten Island Transcript,  Feb 14, 1964
1964 "G.O.P. Team Defeats Democrats at Cycling." New York Times (1923-Current file),  April 20, 1964, (accessed February 11, 2011).
  • Event Date 4/19
  • Race was sponsored by Washington's Olympic Committee as a way of promoting physical fitness and advertising the 1964 Olympic games
  • Republicans: RT Stafford, Donald Rumsfeld, Silvio Conte
  • Won by Cliaborne Pell
Olympic Bicycle Regionals Here. 1964. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), June 18, (accessed January 29, 2011).
  • more than 175 entries
  • on the ellipse. No mention of NCO
1964 "Paul Zinc Wins Bicycle Race as Pease Takes 2d;"
The Washington Post,  Jun 22, 1964;
pg A22
  • Referred to as "National Capitol Open"
  • Sponsored by "French Embassy and the Federation of Washington Area Cycle Clubs"
  • Winners
    • M (1) Paul Zinc, (2) Gerry Pease (3) Rupert Waltl 30 miles in 1:10:35
    • Juniors (1) David Sullivan (10 mile event)
    • Intermediates (1) Charles John (5 mile event)
Bicycle Race Today. 1965. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), June 27, (accessed January 29, 2011).
  • National Capital Open
  • French Ambassador Alphand to present award
 Photograph caption; "Bunched together at the Turn" The Washington Post, June 28, 1965. p1
  • "The National Capital Bicycle Club and the Embassy of France sponsored..."
  • Results
    • Intermediates (13 and under) (1) Tullio Ferri 5 miles
    • Juniors (1) Eric von Garbig (10 miles)
    • Senior (1) Joe Saling (30 miles)
  • 150 entrants
No reports of any races in Washington DC from the Washington Post except one article 1968-07-29, pD4 "Halabi captures 108-Mile Cycle Race"
1968  Bicycle Races Scheduled for Ellipse Today. 1968. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), August 18, (accessed January 27, 2011).
  • Calls it the National Capital Open
  • Mentions Chris Meerman "top junior class rider in the country last year"
Events Today in Washington. 1968. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), August 18, (accessed January 27, 2011).
  • Bicycledelic
  • National Capital Open
1968 By Patricia Collins Washington Post Staff Writer.  1968. Bike Festival a Whirl. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), August 19, (accessed January 27, 2011).
  • photo of veteran's race
  • "Bicycledelic was sponsored by the National Park Service's 'Summer in the Parks' program"
1968 By Andrew Beyer Washington Post Staff Writer.  1968. "Hippies, Cyclists Join In Scorning Motorists." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), August 19, (accessed January 27, 2011).
  • "Bicycledelic"
  •  Winners
    • Senior: Oliver Martin
    • Junior Chris Meerman
    • Intermediate Larry DeSerto
    • Veteran Otto Maier
  • Notes that Arnie Uhrlass is NY state champion
1969 By Claudia Levy, and Washington Post Staff Writer. 1969. A Groovy Day for Cycling in the Park. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), July 14, (accessed January 27, 2011).
  • National Capital Open
  • Congressional race
  • No winners identified
Serious Set of Cyclists. 1970. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973), March 16, (accessed January 27, 2011)
  • Washington Velo Club
  • About 35 cyclists
  • event date 1970-03-15
"50-Mile Event Highlights Races In Bicycle Meet," The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Jun 20, 1971; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1994) pg. 44

  • sponsored by the Capital Velo Club and the Embassy of France
  • National Capital Open
1971 Bike Race Decided by Photo
By Robert HerzogWashington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Jun 28, 1971; pg. D8
  • 800 spectators, 87 starters
  • 50 mile senior event
  • winner: Oliver Martin over Steve Woznick. Bobby Phillips 3rd
  • Photo shows Phillips in National Champion jersey
  • French riders Remi Smet and Patrick Metayer
  • "Bobby Phillips was the 1969 Open Champ"

  • Veterans: Pedro Walls
  • Intermediate Paul Durdaller (Kissena)
  • Junior: Jesus Portalatio, Kissena
1972 1972-06-26 "Around and Around..." The Evening Star p D1
 Photograph of Jean Zamo
1972 "Bicycle Racing Is Coed Sport,"
By Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post, Jun 26, 1972; pg. D1
  •  photographs of Jean Zamo, Bob Fisher, Mary Jane Reoch.
  • Bob Fisher 2nd Francois Mertens (both "German BikeClub") 
1973 "Olympic Rider Takes Featured Bike Race" Michael Granberry. Washington Post, undated 
mis-spells winners Woznick and Reoch ("Goznick, Reouch") mentions crashes. 
1973 "Spinning Wheels" Elaine Powell Washington Evening Star June 17, 1973. Mentions morning races in Rock Creek Park
with photograph
"Woznick Wins Race"
The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Apr 22, 1974;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1994)
pg. D1
  • photo of pack
  • photo of Paris-Sport team meeting
  • 79 riders "Miller High Life Classic Bicycle Race
  • w Steve Woznick 50km in 1:08:32
  • reports "event was marred by 14 spills... all released later" (not true)
  • Claiborne Pell won celebrity race
"Sprint Lap" The Washington Post   April 20, 1974, p C1 (accessed February 7, 2011). 
  •  Photograph of "Olympic cyclist Jim Mensching" favored to win. No photo credit. Interestingly, no Mensching is listed on the start list, and the photograph is of a guy on  track bike on a velodrome.
"Woznick wins" Washington Star Monday 4/22/1974  p C-4
  • Three photographs. 2 of the race with Woznick one of what looks to be the pit with NCVC jerseys. Plus a guy on a penny-farthing
1974 By Thomas Boswell Washington Post Staff Writer.  "Deaths Stir Bike Safety Concern." The Washington Post (1974-Current file),  May 28, 1974, (accessed January 30, 2011).
  • "Those were the first bike racing deaths since 1947," said Harvey C. Black, president of the Easter Cycle Federation, Inc. "The last before that was 1925. Even so, it is quite true that bicycle racing helmets offer hardly any protection at all."
"They're off and pedaling. Washington Star, 1975-04-21, Section C
  • Senior field at the start of the race. Shows snow fencing
"Pedaling to Victory" Apr 21, 1975;
The Washington Post
  • mentions Woznick, Reoch, and Slaughter as winner
1976 Local Riders Sweep Ellipse Race
By Denis Collins
The Washington Post; Apr 26, 1976;
pg. D4
  • Mentions National Pernod Classic
  • Quotes from Jackson, Ian and Lionel Space
  • "thermodynamics of drafting
  • group of 5 lapped the field with 15 to go.
"Jackson Wins in Washington," Barbara Stevens, Velo-news 1976-05-14 p
  • link to article
  • 71 starters
  • Slaughter, Ed 3rd in Junior race, and dropped from the winning breakaway
  • NCVC 1,2,3
Velo-news p6 1976-05-14
  • photo finish camera images
  • link to image
 "19 U.S. records set at national Capital Open" Barbara Stevens, Velo News 1977-05-13
  •  photo of Jocelyn Lovell
  • 38 women started 1st M Reoch. link to article
  • Sr 1/2 100 starters link to article
 "Junior Worlds Course gets mixed reviews; W. Stetina , Strong triumph in D.C. Alison Cohen. Velo-news May 12, 1978.
1979  Nitz Takes Local Open Bike Race" Peter Mehlman, Washington Post April 16, 1979, p D8
  • Photos of Leonard Nitz and Betsy Davis. Mentions driving rain during Junior race (won by Jeff Rutter
Series of Bicycle Races Opens on Ellipse Today
By Gary Davidson Special to The Washington Post. The Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, D.C.: Apr 13, 1980. p. N13
"Donaghy sets Bicycling Mark" Gary Davidson, Washington Post 1980-04-18, p d8
  • 1 Bruce Donaghy in 1:06:54
1980 Velo-news 1980-05-09 page 1
1981 "Heiden wins crowd, Donaghy wins race" Kerry Dougherty, Washington Post 1981-Apr-20, p d4
  • Also photograph of Eric Heiden on another page
1981 "Windbreaker aids Donaghy Victory" Jim Ducibella, Washington Star, 1981-apr-20, p C-4, plus photos on C-1
  • finish order
  • mentions that Chris Cressy fractured his skull in the last-lap crash.
  • Pinto, Mel archive
1981 "Cycle Races on Ellipse Today to Benefit Handicapped." The Washington Post ,  May 17, 1981, 
  • proceeds donated to D.C. Society for Crippled Children/Easter Seals
  • four race series: Richmond, Virginia Beach, DC, Baltimore
1981 By Eric St. John Special to The Washington Post.  "Ware, Strong Win Feature Bicycle Races on Ellipse." The Washington Post  May 18, 1981.
  • 1st David Ware, Karen Strong
1981 Jim Ducibella "Strong routs cycle field. Washingto Star 1981-05-18, p D-4
  • photograph of the Junior race with a NCVC jersey in front
  • mentions that Beth Heiden was a no-show
  • rode away on the 11th lap
1982 Fast Clips On Ellipse
BY JOAN JOHNSON. The Washington Post Apr 16, 1982. p. W51
  • explanation of cycling terms
  • Photograph of what appears to me to be Gitane riders. Caption states "from last year's race"
1985 "Best in U.S. Bicycling Race on Ellipse Today; 17th National Capitol (sic) Open Set," Paul Hodge, Washington Post 1985-Apr-21, p D3
1985 Paul Hodge Washington Post Staff Writer.  "Nitz Wins Second Bike Title Here: Olympian Beats Edger, Schuler in 50-Lap Race." The Washington Post April 22, 1985
  • hot day, many crashes
  • 3000 spectators
  • 15 rider crash in Womens's race
  • Winners Harvey Nitz, Betsy Davis
  • NCVC 1 and 3 in Cat 3 race
  • George Hincapie won midget (9-11) race
  • courier race
  • photo of lead group with an NCVC jersey (Paul Pearson?)
1985 Velo-news 1985-05-10 page 1
  • Cover photograph of Harvey Nitz, 7-11 winning
  • Results inside
1987 "Locals move to the front of pack in cycling race on the Ellipse," Tom Carter, Washington Times, 1987-May-1, p ?
  • Mentions Sandro Bono, Italian Cyclocross champion, Kathy Haberman, Aubrey Gordon, Reon Fogg, and Simon Walker
1987 Washington Post (1974-Current file),  May 4, 1987 page D9
  • Results

Last modified at 3/26/2011 7:49 PM  by Bill Luecke 

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