A hazy Fourth of July was brightened by a blur of several hundred rainbow-colored racers yesterday at the second annual Fort Meade Cherry Bomb Criterium cycling race.
And Jeff Rutter, of the Ime Bolla Wines team, emerged from the field, circling the one-mile course at Fort Meade parade grounds to win the Senior 2/3 race, drafting behind teammate Graeme Miller and then sprinting to the finish to edge Gerry Fornes.
Rutter, 30, from Macunghi, Pa., Miller, Fornes and Brian McDonunogh took the lead with about five laps remaining in the 30-mile event, ahead of the field by about a minute.
Miller went out front, with Rutter drafting, on the final turn, before Rutter vaulted across the finish.
"For one person to stay away, it's pretty tough. I figured we'd bring it down to the finish," Rutter said, who finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds, about 45 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The Senior 4 class was won by Bill Hermach of Derwood in 1:00:35.
In the Masters 35 division, 46-year-old Ronald Sutherland of Arlington, Va., nipped Allen Coks of Richmond, Va., at the finish line for a victory in 1:03:10.
"The pack was just coming apart after a series of attacks," said Sutherland, who broke away from the pack late in the race for his victory.
Jim Montgomery, who won two titles at the World Cup last weekend in San Diego, led his 25-mile even at about the 18-mile mark but finished third.
Montgomery won two $50 primes during bell laps. Bob Phillips of Baltimore finished fourth.
John Schwartz won the 20-mile junior event in 1:15.22. Mary Colleen Bradley won the 15-mile women's race in 1:18:31.