The towel wrapped around Marty Nothstein's shoulders was not enough to stop the sweat from dripping from his hair and cycling clothes yesterday.
Nothstein, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the match sprint event, said he had just enough energy to finish the inaugural Silver Spring Grand Prix, winning the men's 35-mile pro/elite race in downtown Silver Spring in 1 hour 6 minutes. On a day marked by a heat advisory, Nothstein was in a five-man race with 10 one-kilometer laps remaining until he sprinted the final 100 meters to win.
Kyle Wamsley, Eric Murphy, Ben Lindsay, Jon Wirsing (of Glen Allen, Va.) and Nothstein kept a distance from the pack that ranged from 20 to 30 seconds, but only Wamsley was with Nothstein at the finish line.
"The difference was the sprint at the final turn. It was a matter of me working to get to second or third. I knew I had it with 20 meters left in the race," Nothstein, of Orefield, Pa., said. "It was a war of attrition. It was pretty hot on the last 15 laps. At one point we were looking at each other like, 'Gosh, it's hot.' "
A video review was needed to name Rebecca Larson of Gainesville, Fla., the winner of the women's 25-mile pro/elite race in 1:03. Larson and May Britt Hartwell stayed about 30 seconds ahead of the pack, which stopped trying to catch the two with about three laps remaining. Veronica Martinez and Graciela Martinez, sisters from Allentown, Pa., who are members of the Argentine national team, finished tied at 11th place.
"When the field can't see you, it's always a good thing. After about five laps, I knew the field would stay away," Larson said.
Larson and Hartwell swapped short leads in the final 10 laps. Neither made significant moves until the final lap. When the two crossed the finish line, Larson raised her hands in celebration after the race, before judges confirmed her the winner. It was the only time in the race Larson knew she was going to win.
"Sometimes another racer will act like they're more tired than they really are, so you never know how tired another racer is," Larson said. "At the end I knew I had it, my wheel was just in the right spot."