Eleven Bicycle Races Provide Exciting New Spin for Saturday Expo on Six Gap Century Weekend
Lynskey Performance Added as Presenting Sponsor for
23rd Annual Cycling Event in Dahlonega;
Criterium Races Sept 24 and Recreation Rides Sept 25
For the first time in 23 years, two days of two-wheeled action will take center stage in Dahlonega, Georgia for Six Gap Century weekend. Hundreds of competitive adult and youth cyclists are expected to compete in 11 races on Saturday, September 24 for the inaugural Six Gap Criterium. The following day, 3,000 cyclists are expected to make the annual uphill pilgrimage in three non-competitive rides for the Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty. Event organizers have added a full schedule of criterium-style races with Saturday's popular Bike Expo on the Historic Square of Dahlonega, offering a more activities for athletes and entertainment for spectators.
The Six Gap Criterium will be the final event of 11-race Georgia Championship Series for 2011, with special awards presented after each race. The Six Gap Criterium provides a one-kilometer, closed circuit for bicycle racers in the heart of downtown Dahlonega, a great spectator-friendly event to watch the cyclists pass multiple times at top speeds of 40 miles per hour. The start/finish line will be located on West Main Street across from the famous Holly Theatre.
All athletes, from juniors to adults, will compete for a set time in each categorized contest, 25 to 60 minutes. Each race will include multiple laps around the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site using Main, North Chestatee and Public Square streets, and then heading the other direction on West Main to make a loop on College Circle and Church Street. Two races for juniors kick off the Six Gap Criterium at 4:30 p.m., followed by nine adult races for men and women, which are expected to finish after dusk. The Six Gap Criterium is managed by Swagger LLC (swagger.us), the country's leading producer of criterium racing.
Also located on the criterium course in the Historic Square that day will be the Bike Expo for the Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty. The Bike Expo will be open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., offering interactive displays and merchandise sales for the official sponsors of the Six Gap Century, as well as packet pickup for registered riders. There are typically a few spots available for late registration ($55 per person) for the Sunday ride options - 35-mile Valley Ride, Three Gap Fifty, and the Six Gap Century.
Online registration (cyclenorthgeorgia.com) is open until midnight on Thursday, September 22 for the Six Gap Century rides at $50 per person. Online registration (swagger.gobike1.com/site/) is open until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 23 for the Six Gap Criterium races. For the Criterium, registration is $35 for adults and $20 for juniors in advance. At the Expo, late fees will be applied for all activities - $10 for each criterium event and $5 for Sunday rides. Each rider in the criterium events must have a 2011 racing license; one-day licenses will be available for $10 for the entry-level categories (Cat 5 men and Cat 4 women).
Lynskey Performance Designs, a Chattanooga, Tenn-based manufacturer of titanium bicycles, has been involved with the Six Gap Century for a number of years and has signed as the presenting sponsor for 2011. Lynskey will offer a fully built 2011 Sportive road bike, valued at $6,880, as a special raffle giveaway this year. It has a Sram Red Groppo, 53/39T Crankset (172.5) and Zipp 101 wheelset. Raffle tickets ($5 for one ticket; $20 for five tickets; no need to be present to win) will be available at the Bike Expo.
The most popular of the Sunday rides is the Six Gap Century, which covers 104 miles and a total of 11,200 feet of climbing. The Three Gap Fifty offers a challenging course with 58 total miles. And for the fourth year, a 35-mile Valley Route will be offered, which includes 2,900 feet of climbing in the foothills of the same Blue Ridge Mountains. Historically, the majority of participants are "Six Gappers", with 76% of registered riders opting for the most vertically challenging course. For a third year, award jerseys will be presented for the best climbers among the Six Gappers, using the best combined times for riding up Hogpen Gap and Wolf Pen Gap. For more information, visit the official web site, www.cyclenorthgeorgia.com, or the Facebook page (SixGap).
All rides on Sunday begin at Lumpkin County High School, two miles north of downtown Dahlonega. Event T-shirts are guaranteed for all riders who register by September 8, 2011. Event jerseys will be available for purchase to all participants at the Bicycle Expo. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce, a 501 c (6) not-for-profit organization, organizes the event and manages additional support from local and regional sponsors. The Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty has become one of the largest events for the chamber.
SIX GAP CRITERIUM SCHEDULE:
RACE and start TIME
Juniors 10-14 - 4:30 pm
Juniors 15-18 - 4:30 pm
Masters 55+ - 5:00 pm
Masters 45+ - 5:00 pm
Cat 5 - 5:40 pm
Cat 4 - 5:40 pm
Masters 35+ - 6:15 pm
Cat 3 - 7:00 pm
Womens 3/ 4 - 7:45 pm
Womens 1/ 2 - 7:45 pm
Mens Pro 1/ 2 - 8:30 pm
Six Gap Century - 7:30 a.m. start - This ultra-challenging route takes you up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains, with more than 11,200 feet of vertical climbing over the 104-mile course.
Three Gap Fifty - 8:30 a.m. start - Half the gaps for participants who want a shorter ride but just as much scenery and challenging climbs. This course is 58 miles in length.
Valley Ride - 8:30 a.m. start - This 35-mile ride option is a great introduction to the rolling terrain in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, featuring the scenic areas of the Yahoola Valley and DeSoto Falls near Turner's Corner.
Downtown Dahlonega Criterium - Saturday, Sept. 24 from 4:30 p.m. to dusk. USAC license required with registration. Category 1-5 races for men, Category 1-4 races for women, junior races for riders ages 13-18. Free for spectators.
2011 Bike Expo - Held Saturday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All cyclists are encouraged to attend for early pick up of registration packets, to avoid long lines on Sunday morning. The Bike Expo offers interactive exhibits and prizes from event sponsors. It is free and open to the public.
SIX GAP CLIMBS AND ELEVATIONS:
* Neels Gap, 3139'/ 957 m (part of Three Gap)
* Jack's Gap, 2960'/902 m
* Unicoi Gap, 2949'/899 m
* Hogpen Gap, 3480'/ 1061 m
* Wolf Pen Gap, 3345'/ 1019 m (part of Three Gap)
* Woody Gap, 3200'/ 975 m (part of Three Gap)