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CLE VS. PGH: Neck and Neck in Final NBC Stretch

The battle for the Rust Crown is down to the wire.

Rust Belt rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland are neck and neck as the National Bike Challenge winds to a close.  The cities have channeled their bitter rivalry into the Challenge, squaring off in the Rust Belt Battle of the Bikes.  With just a little over a week left in the Challenge, Cleveland is winning in mileage with a little more than 617,000, but Pittsburgh still leads in total points — which is the deciding factor.

“The first year of Rust Belt Challenge has been a battle and coming down to the wire,” said Lou Fineberg, of Bike Pittsburgh. “Fanning the flames of the storied rivalry has spurred Cleveland and Pittsburgh to take this year to the next level. This is the start of something big!”

(Pittsburgh has been keeping a close tally.)

But it’s not over yet, says Jacob VanSickle, of Bike Cleveland.

“The goal of winning a championship over Pittsburgh has united Cleveland cyclists and over the past month we have brought the battle within reach,” VanSickle said.

No matter the ultimate winner of the 2013 Rust Belt Challenge, the two sides are organizing a ride to meet in Youngstown, OH, in October to exchange the official Rust Belt crown and to toast the winner with the Rust Belt Chalice (pictured right). Did we mention this was a serious rivalry?

Stay tuned to see how the 2013 Rust Belt Challenge shakes out, and keep logging those miles!

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