Denver (Sept. 10, 2012) – The USA Pro Challenge, one of the largest professional cycling races in the United States, is expanding its support of cycling events across the country by partnering with the 24th annual Six Gap Century Ride for the KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge. Held on September 30, the Six Gap Century boasts many of the same roads and mountain climbs that were used in the now defunct Tour de Georgia. On the climb at Hogpen Gap, participants will get a sense of what the pros experienced last month as they ride alongside the same course signage and through the same KOM pillars used in the USA Pro Challenge.
"Our new partnership with USA Pro Challenge is an exciting addition this year and perfectly complements our Century ride experience," said Stefani Logsdon, ride director of the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty Bike Ride. “Our riders work so hard throughout the year to train for the Six Gap Century, especially the Hogpen Gap climb, and it is wonderful to be able to challenge and reward them with the King of the Mountain competition.”
The Six Gap Century’s challenging route takes participants over six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. With more than 11,200 ft. of vertical climbing over the 104-mile course, riders will be able to put their skills to the test. Elevations for the six gaps in this ride range from 1,400 ft. to 3,460 ft. The toughest climb, Hogpen Gap, will test even the strongest riders, averaging a seven percent grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15 percent.
Known for being a tough ride with some of the steepest climbs in the southeast, the 100-mile route invites riders to test their abilities in the mountains. As such, the KOM title will be awarded to the male and female rider with the lowest time on Hogpen Gap.
“Our goal is to build interest in the sport of cycling overall in the U.S. and this partnership with the Six Gap Century Ride further demonstrates that commitment,” said Brian Farris, chief operating officer of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “Through pro rides like the USA Pro Challenge and amateur rides like this we are helping to build strong cycling communities and encourage riders of all levels to get out and enjoy the sport.”
As a European Gran Fondo-style ride, the non- competitive race will feature a diverse route with interval starts based on skill and distance so all levels of riders can participate. All distances start in Dahlonega, Georgia, at Lumpkin County High School, about one hour north of Atlanta. The ride is sagged for safety and refreshments are provided at rest stops along the course. Finishing at Lumpkin County High School, riders will be served a spaghetti dinner between 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
About Six Gap Century
During the last weekend of September, two days of two-wheeled action will take center stage in Dahlonega, Georgia for the Six Gap Century Weekend. Hundreds of competitive adult and youth cyclists are expected to compete in 11 races in Historic Downtown Dahlonega on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 for the 2nd Annual Six Gap Criterium, the final event of the 2012 Georgia Championship Series.
The following day, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, almost 3,000 cyclists are expected to make the annual uphill pilgrimage in three non-competitive rides for the 104-mile Six Gap Century, 58-mile Three Gap Fifty and 35-mile Valley Ride.
The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty Bike Ride is produced by the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce. More information can be found online at www.cyclenorthgeorgia.com.
About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge featured the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge took place August 20-26, 2012, a week proclaimed by Governor John Hickenlooper as “Colorado Cycling Holiday”, and traveled through 12 host cities from Durango to Denver. More information can be found online at www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.