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Alabama Cycling Classic returns July 3rd-4th as Part of USA Cycling’s Professional Road Tour

April 1, 2021

Registration Now Open for Bicycle Races in Anniston and Piedmont

Anniston, Ala. (April 1, 2021) — Following a 2020 cancellation due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama Cycling Classic returns to Calhoun County in its traditional  weekend format of national bicycle races for amateur and professional athletes on July 3rd and 4th. The City of Anniston will be the showcase for high-velocity, two wheeled bicycles. The Alabama Cycling Classic event begins on Saturday with the Sunny King Criterium, held adjacent to the popular Main Street Anniston’s Noble Street Festival in downtown Anniston. Sunday’s race features the newly created Piedmont Criterium, which will be held in downtown Piedmont, Ala.

This marks the 19th year for the Sunny King Criterium, which attracts top regional and national talent from across the country as part of the USA Cycling’s Professional Road Tour (PRT). The Sunny King Criterium is the fifth national criterium event on the Professional Road Tour calendar for 2021. The downtown Anniston, Sunny King Criterium offers 20 categorized events for men and women, from Junior, Master’s Elite and Domestic Professional racers. The historic downtown four-turn course will begin and end on E. 11th Street near Noble Street in downtown Anniston.

Sunday’s Piedmont Criterium will provide eight categorized races for all categories. This new one-kilometer course is located in the northern region of Calhoun County, racing in and around downtown Piedmont. This marks the 8th year for the Alabama Cycling Classic’s day two event to be held in the City of Piedmont and the first time ever for the city to engage in hosting a downtown criterium.

The total prize purse for the Alabama Cycling Classic weekend will exceed $27,000, with equal payouts for the professional men’s and women’s races on Saturday. The Professional Men’s and Women’s fields will compete for PRT points and split a $25,000 prize purse.

Due to COVID-19 the Alabama Cycling Classic will not be offering a host housing program for the 2021 event.  The event organization is working with local hotel groups to get the best room rates possible for the event weekend.  More information on these rates and other COVID-19 prevention protocol will be viewable on the event website prior to the event weekend.

The Noble Street Festival returns with food, music and family activities adjacent to the criterium course on Saturday. There will be free activities for children and live music for the entire family along the 900 and 1000 blocks of Noble Street. Festival hours are 11a.m. – 7 p.m. Returning this year is the Fat Tire Criterium, the YMCA Kids Bicycle Races and Mad Dash 1K running event (ages 12 and under). Applications for festival vendors are accepted online until June 18th.

Admission to the festival and bicycle races is free for all spectators. Online registration is currently open until June 30th for racers, with fees ranging from $10 for juniors to $50 for elite riders. Proceeds from the Sunny King Criterium racer registration fees are donated to the American Cancer Society, a local Relay for Life chapter in Calhoun County. Since 2002, more than $120,000 has been raised for cancer research and patient support.

Pre-registration for the YMCA Kids Bicycle Race and Mad Dash 1K is accepted via the Noble Street Festival website until June 25th, with fees ranging from $6 per event or $10 for both. Late entries for the Kids Races are also available onsite the day of the event.

Sunny King Automotive continues its support as a longtime title sponsor of the Sunny King Criterium, along with Calhoun County Commission and Visit Calhoun County.  Sponsorship conversations for the 2021 event are ongoing with local and regional businesses in support of both in-kind and cash sponsorships.

Sunny King Criterium registration – https://www.bikereg.com/sunny-king-criterium
Piedmont Criterium registration – https://www.bikereg.com/piedmont-criterium

Noble Street Festival vendor application and information  —https://www.mainstreetanniston.com/nsf2021

For information about race registration, calendar of events and downtown activities, visit the Alabama Cycling Classic website (http://www.annistoncycling.com/). Follow the Alabama Cycling Classic on Facebook (AlabamaCyclingClassic), Instagram (AlabamaCyclingClassic) and Twitter (@AlabamaCycling #AnnistonCycling). Follow the Noble Street Festival on Facebook (NobleStreetFestival). Follow the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour on Twitter (@USACycling).

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About Alabama Cycling Classic

The Sunny King Criterium began in 2002 as Anniston’s signature cycling event for professional and amateur male and female cyclists from around the globe. A second day of racing was added in 2014 for amateur and elite athletes. The start/finish line for the criterium is located at 11th and Noble streets in downtown Anniston, with 20 categorized races for adults and juniors. The criterium is one of 17 national cycling events on USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. All races are managed by Start Smart Events.

About Sunny King Automotive Group

Located in Anniston, Alabama, the Sunny King Automotive Group has been in business since 1922, when it began as the King Motor Co., Inc. The Sunny King Automotive Group offers new & used car sales, finance, body shop and service repairs. Among the dealerships which support Sunny King Criterium and Noble Street Festival are Sunny King Ford, Sunny King Honda and Sunny King Toyota. Sunny King Honda and Sunny King Toyota have been recognized as President’s Award recipients for multiple years. Learn more: www.sunnyking.com.

About Start Smart Events

Start Smart Events (SSE) provides professional management and consultation for all areas of cycling and community-based events. SSE specializes in the production and management of sports events. For more information, contact Marilyn Cullinane, [email protected]

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Web – annistoncycling.com
Facebook – AlabamaCyclingClassic
Instagram – @AlabamaCyclingClassic
Twitter – @AlabamaCycling #AnnistonCycling

For race information and sponsorship opportunities:
Race Director Marilyn Cullinane, Start Smart Events
[email protected]
239-961-1902

For Alabama Cycling Classic Media Contact:
Bonyetta Kitts
The Brison Group, Inc.
[email protected]
912-222-1653

Noble Street Festival Contact:
Jackson Hodges, Main Street Anniston
[email protected]
256-846-2044