The Cheaha Challenge – Your Chance to Wear the Rainbow Stripes
The UCI Gran Fondo World Series returns to the U.S. with the Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo, Century and ULTRA in Jacksonville, Alabama on May 21st 2017.
If you finish in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place or in the top 25% of your age group in the Century ride, you will qualify for the 2017 UCU Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi, France in late August, and a shot at the World Champions Rainbow Jersey!
"The toughest ride in the South," the Cheaha Challenge, part of the Alabama Backroads Century Series, and dates back to 1992 and challenges riders over Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama.
The seven routes, extending up to the 124 mile Ultra with 12, 835 feet of climbing, start and finish on the campus of Jacksonville State University. The Century distance is the UCI Qualifier, and features 9,714 feet of climbing in the Talladega Mountains. The UCI Qualifier is expected to draw racers from across North America and abroad. Jacksonville, Alabama is known for its mild temperatures, clean air, and blue skies, and is located in the midst of four mountains. Nearby is Cheaha State Park and Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama, the location for one the KOM and QOM competitions.
The Cheaha Challenge has a lot of specialty additions to the ride. Live bands, buffet food, $5,000 dollars in prizes, Team and Individual Awards, and a family ride. The Rest Stops are amazing, and they hold a contest as to which feed station is the best.
New for 2017 is the transport to the top of Alabama, where the first KOM ends. There are two KOM/QOMs. One on the Century/Ultra course and another one just on the ULTRA.
The events boasts an incredible 11 timing points to keep the integrity of the ride at its best.
For those looking to take part in the UCI qualifier, the age groups are 19-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-70 and 70+ and are determined by the cyclist's age on Dec. 31 of that year. The first 25% of athletes of each age group will be awarded with guaranteed entry to the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship in France and be able to ride for the World Champion title. The first three finishers in each age group category will automatically receive entry eligibility. Only the CENTURY riders of the Challenge are eligible to receive this designation.
KOM/QOM, Overall and Age Group Competitions
There are chances to win the coveted KOM/QOM jerseys and cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place!
There are also cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the overall Century and Century age group categories too. Again up to $5,000 dollars of prizes are on offer on the Century and ULTRA distance rides across 10 age categories.
Registration is Now Open
Every entrant receives a huge amount benefits for their entry fee which includes; Pre-ride dinner and band party, Goody Bags, Pre-ride breakfast, Post-ride party, Fully stocked Rest Stops, Law enforcement support, Medical support, SAG and technical support, Official custom number bibs, Professional Timing, Custom Finisher Caps, Custom ride t-shirts, ULTRA Finishers receive a custom Finisher Shirt, Finisher medal for Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA riders, Finisher gift and hot showers at the finish!
Proceeds from the Cheaha Challenge & ULTRA go to maintaining local trails – Chief Ladiga Trail, Black Creek Trails, Coldwater Mountain Trail, and to fund a grant program for the local High School Mountain Bike Teams.
For detailed information and registration, please go to: http://www.cheahachallenge.com
For more information regarding the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi, France, please go to: http://www.albi2017cycling.eu/en. UCI Qualifiers will be automatically invited to register in advance.
For enquires, please contact:
Brooke Nicholls Nelson, Ride Director
Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA
VIDEO: 2016 Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo