Sandy Springs' premiere cycling event returns on May 5.
The Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge is the culmination in a series of seven races – aka Speed Week - in the USA Crit Championship Series. It features the best criterium cyclists in the world racing the downtown streets of seven southern cities.
Starting on April 27, cyclists race in Athens, Roswell, Tybee Island, Walterboro, S.C., Spartanburg, S.C., Belmont, N.C., and finally Sandy Springs.
Global Imports Cycling Challenge is the inspiration of Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Dianne Fries, who is also the event organizer. The event is in its sixth year.
“Our hope was that the event would draw together local business and residents, and it’s been great to see the participation on all sides grow over the past several years,” said Fries, in a statement.
The top men’s and women’s professional teams compete for $150,000 in prizes. Sandy Springs' race course has earned its own nickname, “Mount Sandy Springs,” for the hill that peaks at the start and finish line on Sandy Springs Circle.
Local riders wishing to participate on race day can sign-up for the "Metric Century Challenge Ride," which is presented by Northside Hospital. Proceeds from the participation fee support the Sandy Springs Police and Fire Departments and the charities they support, such as Special Olympics and the Police Department Benevolet Fund.
Brian Palmer, general manager for Global Imports BMW and MINI said, “This event exemplifies everything that is good about community, competition, family and fun; and provides needed support to the Sandy Springs Police and Fire Departments.”
Dozens of local restaurants will line up along the race course for Taste of Sandy Springs.
The Cycling Challenge and Taste of Sandy Springs take place on Sandy Springs Circle. There is no admission fee to attend the day’s activities. Taste of Sandy Springs sampling tickets will be sold at $1.00 per ticket. Event information, including a complete schedule of the day’s activities can be found at www.sandyspringschallenge.org.