2017 Cheaha Challenge CENTURY is the qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship!

Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo

May 21 2017
Jacksonville, Alabama, USA

2017 Cheaha Challenge CENTURY is the qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship!

We are thrilled to announce that we have been chosen to host the ONLY USA Qualifier for the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championship, to be held in France the fall of 2017. Participants of the Century ride on May 21, 2017 will earn qualification to enter the World Championship if they place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their respective age group and/or if they are in the top 25% of their age group.

The 25th Annual Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA ride begins and ends in Jacksonville, AL. The challenge of this ride is that the participants encounter more than 9,714 feet of cumulative climbing for the century ride, and more than 12, 835 feet for the ULTRA (for experienced riders only). Shorter route options have much less climbing. The Cheaha Challenge/ULTRA is famous for being extremely well organized and supported by local volunteers and businesses.

The course is out-and-back and takes cyclists over Cheaha Mountain, Alabama's highest point at 2,407 feet, and home of Cheaha State Park. Given that the route is out-and-back, cyclists also have a lot FAST downhill! Most of the 100 mile route takes riders through the Talladega National Forest by way of the Talladega Scenic Drive, affording breathtaking vistas of the beautiful mountains and valleys in this foothills region.The ULTRA portion is for experienced riders only, and encompasses all major climbs in our area: Mount Cheaha, Bain's Gap, Cottaquilla, and Chimney Peak.

Chip timing allows us to crown a "King/Queen of the Mountain" (KOM/QOM) rider on the famously steep "3 Mile Climb" leading to the top of Alabama at Cheaha State Park, and allows us to post accurate timing. NEW for 2017: There will also be a KOM/QOM on the ULTRA course. Stay tuned for details!

CHIEF LADIGA CRUISE Ride - Looking for a little bit less of a Challenge? Or do you have family or friends looking for something to do while you're out riding the Challenge?

Check out the Chief Ladiga Cruise, a kinder/gentler ride of 12, 25 or 50 (to the state line) miles (or less, if you want) on The Ladiga Trail, with three rest stop locations on the route. Enjoy this paved bike path through north Alabama's countryside with Dugger Mountain as the backdrop. (Start time is 8 a.m., 30 minutes after the 7:30 a.m. start of the Challenge.)

2017 Cheaha Challenge CENTURY is the qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship!

Routes: 44, 62, 84, 100, 124 miles
Difficulty of Greatest Route: F - Ultra Distance and Climbing for events well over 100 miles
Time Zone: Central Standard Time (CST)
Until Dec. 15 $50.00
Dec. 16 - Feb. 15 $60.00
Feb. 16 - May 19 $70.00
May 20-21 $85.00


What's Included?

For all riders:

NEW for 2017: Thanks to Highland Health Systmes - Cash prizes for KOM/QOM, Overall Century and ULTR. And Team Awards have been upgraded, too!
25th Anniversary Celebration!
Pre-ride dinner and band party
Goody Bags - drawstring backpacks stuffed full of goodies and info, compliments of Sunny King Automotive
Custom Wig's Wheels water bottle!
Pre-ride breakfast at ride site
Pre-ride devotion -  (7:00 am)
Post-ride party - complete with buffet, beverages, finisher gifts, bands and more!
Fully stocked Rest Stops - Depending on the distance chosen, Challenge and ULTRA riders have access up to 11 Rest Stops. (The Chief Ladiga Cruise has 3-4 Rest Stops.)
Law enforcement support
Medical support
SAG and technical support
On-course communication
Official custom bibs
Professional Timing - Top View Sports
Option to order custom event jerseys (Hincapie Sports)
Custom ride t-shirts
Bragging rights and special shirts for ULTRA finishers only!
Finisher medal for Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA riders - Alabama Backroads Century Series
Finisher gifts - Custom Cycling Cap compliments of Highland Health Systems. Pint glass from Cheaha Brewery. Bring the glass to Cheaha Brewery on Sunday and receive one beverage of your choice and 10% off an entrée item.
Massage Therapy: TBA
Hot showers at the finish

Packet Pickups

Friday, May 19, 2017

Packet Pickup/Registration: 12 noon - 6 p.m.

Wig's Wheels: The FIRST 50 people to pick up receive a free pint glass!
1229 Noble Street, Anniston, AL 36201
Phone: (256) 237-9447

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Packet Pickup/Registration: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Pete Mathews Coliseum, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL

Pre-Ride Dinner: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Pete Mathews Coliseum, Catered by Classic on Noble, Band: Little Known Letter (Free to riders. $10/non-rider)


Sunday, May 21, 2017 - Pete Mathews Coliseum

Last Chance to Register/Pickup Packets: 5:30 a.m. - 7 a.m. (Chielf Ladiga Cruise can register until 7:45 a.m.)

Pre-Ride Breakfast: 5:30 a.m. (Free to all)

Pre Ride Devotional: 7 a.m. (Inside the gym at Pete Mathews Coliseum)



Post Ride Party: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Start/Finish venue at Pete Mathews Coliseum: Buffet catered by Cooter's Rib Shack. Music by Robby & MARC and Cornbread Killers. (Free to riders. $10/non-riders)

4:30 p.m.: Awards Ceremony - band stage



GOT SOME TIME ON SATURDAY? Enjoy some other activities in our area:

Coldwater Mountain Bike Trails
Anniston Museum of Natural History
Hike at Cheaha State Park


Prize / Race Categories

All finishers receive finisher awards that include:

- For century riders, Alabama Backroads Century Series medal

- Finisher award - all distances

- Cheaha Brewery Pint glass

- Gran Fondo buffet

Adequate Car Parking
Free Parking
Toilets / Changing Rooms
Registration/Entry On the Day
Pre-Packet Pickups
Support for Participants
Route Signposted
Route Card
First Aid
Emergency Contact No
SAG Wagon
Escort / Police Escort
Controlled Intersections
Roving Mechanical Support
Neutral Support Vehicles
Closed Roads (Super Prestige)
Electronic Start/Finish Timing
Electronic Start/Finish Hill Timing
Strava KOM
Strava QOM
Category / Race Prizes
Finishing Medals
Results Within 24 Hours
Downloadable GPS files
Free Training Rides
Post Ride Shower
Finish Line Chute
Feed / Aid Stations
Pre Event Meal(s) Provided As Part of Entry
Post Event Meal(s) Provided As Part of Entry
Number of Timed Hill Climbs
Two Hill Climbs
Event Size
500 - 1999 Riders