AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- This weekend, a national cycling championship will take place on Fort Gordon and in Augusta. Hundreds of cyclists and spectators are expected to be downtown Sunday for the USA Cycling Masters and Para Road National Championship Criterium.
Sunday’s race is a different type of bicycle race than people usually think of.
This race is called a “criterium.” Instead of a cross-country style race it’s more like a NASCAR race- high speeds with lots of left turns.
These races will involve around 900 cyclists ages 30 and over, as well as para-cyclists, athletes with disabilities.
Events like this bring in a lot of money to the local economy. Augusta Sports Council CEO, Michelle Pippin, said that by not having food vendors at the race, it will have an even bigger economic impact.
“We try to encourage folks to go out to local restaurants and businesses that are open. We are estimating the economic impact to be around $500,000,” she explained.
This is the second time in 10 years this championship has been held in Augusta, which Pippin said speaks volumes.
“Think about all the other cities an, you know, Augusta’s been able to host this twice. And that just kind of goes to show the kind of relationship the Sports Council has been able to maintain with the folks at USA Cycling, as well as other event organizers that we work with on an annual basis.”
The races DO mean road closures downtown.
Broad street from 7th to 9th streets will be closed, and so will Reynolds Street between 7th and 9th. Both 7th and 9th streets between Broad and Reynolds will be closed, too.
The closures will form a square track. Those will start at 5 a.m. Sunday and end around 4 p.m., or until the races are over.
This event is open to spectators. Any cars parked on those streets after 5 a.m. will be towed.