UCI Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo

May 13 - May 14, 2023 - Jacksonville, Alabama, USA

2022 Cheaha Challenge CENTURY is AGAIN the qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship and the UCI Time Trial World Championship!

We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host a USA Qualifier for the 2021 UCI Gran Fondo and Time Trial World Championship. Participants of the Century ride and/or Time Trial on May 14 and 15, 2022  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 Cheaha Challenge Time Trial is a flat and fast 12 mile point-to-point course all on the Chief Ladiga paved rails-to-trail. Start is at Eubanks Welcome Center in Piedmont, Alabama and finishes at Pete Mathews Coliseum at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama.

The 29th 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 13,492 feet over 126 miles 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: Chinnabee Recreation Area (hardest Cat 2 climb in the State), 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.  Also for the ULTRA, we have a KOM/QOM from Chinnabee Recreation Area to the Top of Alabama inside Cheaha State Park.There will be third a KOM/QOM on the ULTRA course on the route up Chimney Peak (1.6 miles), that includes a 22% grade.  Yes, THREE KOM/QOMs!

Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA

Routes: 160 km
Difficulty of Greatest Route: F - Ultra Distance and Climbing for events well over 100 miles
Entry Limit: 1,500
What's Included?

For all riders:

Thanks to Highland Health Systems - Cash prizes for THREE KOM/QOM, Overall Century and ULTR. And Team Awards, too!
28th Anniversary Celebration!
Goody Bags - drawstring backpacks stuffed full of goodies and info, compliments of Sunny King Automotive
Pre-ride breakfast at ride site
Pre-ride devotion -  (7:00 am)
Post-ride party - complete with buffet, beverages, finisher gifts, bands and more! Free for registered riders ($10 discounted fee for non-riders)
Fully stocked Rest Stops - Depending on the distance chosen, Challenge and ULTRA riders have access up to 17 Rest Stops. (The Chief Ladiga Cruise has access to 5 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! And custom ULTRA FINISHER jerseys, only finishers can order.
Finisher medal for Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA riders, and Cruise; Winner Medals for Challenge and ULTRA
Finisher gifts - Custom Cycling Cap compliments of Highland Health Systems
Massage Therapy: TBA
Hot showers at the finish

Packet Pickups




Prize / Race Categories

Finisher awards include: Challenge/ULTRA/Cruise - Sunday

- UCI World Championship Qualifiers (Century ride) receive UCI Medals, and 1st place in each age group receives UCI jersey

- Century Ride: Overall Top three male/female receive awards

- ULTRA Winners -Overall Top three male/female receive awards

- KOM/QOM - Three segments; top three male/female receive awards

- For Cheaha Challenge/ULTRA riders (and NEW - Cruise riders): Finisher Medals

- Gran Fondo buffet

TimeTrial: Saturday

- UCI Gran Fondo TT Championship - Receive UCI Medals for age groups, and 1st place receives a UCI jersey

- AL/GA State Championship/Handcycle/Juniors - Awards to be announced

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
Event Size
500 - 1999 Riders
Event Links