Dahlonega Gold Criterium Returns Sept. 28 with Georgia Races
July 24, 2019
DAHLONEGA, GA. (July 24, 2019) – A whirl of wheels will create a kaleidoscope of speed on the streets of downtown Dahlonega on Saturday, Sept. 28 for the Dahlonega Gold Criterium. Eight categorized bicycle races will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for amateur and elite road athletes. Also wrapped around the historic public square will be the Bike Expo and a new Beer Tent. Sunday features the popular Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty, the 31st annual recreational bicycle ride which attracts close to 2,500 riders from across the country.
It marks the ninth year for the Dahlonega Gold Criterium. This spectator-friendly style of bicycle racing is considered to be the equivalent of short track stock car racing for sprint specialists on two wheels. Athletes can reach speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour on West Main Street, made easier with fresh pavement on the course this year.
The start/finish line of the one-kilometer circuit will be located in front of the Holly Theatre. Each circuit will begin with a counter-clockwise loop around the Old Lumpkin County Courthouse, now the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Racers will follow West Main Street back past the Holly Theatre to turn on College Circle and Church Street and return to West Main Street for the uphill finish.
Each categorized race is timed, ranging from 30 to 60 minutes. Registration ranges from $15 for Juniors to $35 for Pro Men, and is available online. A total prize purse of $4,200 is up for grabs in five categories. Junior boys and girls race for medals, awarded by age groups of 10-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18. All races are sanctioned by USA Cycling.
“We expect more than 200 racers to take part in the Criterium events on Saturday. The Square will be filled with spectators who are in town for the Six Gap Century, so the races are a great way to kick off the weekend. With so many dining options downtown, and the races as a centerpiece, we hope spectators will take time to experience all that Dahlonega has to offer,” said Robb Nichols, President of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber & Visitors Bureau.
The 2019 Bike Expo will be held Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., adjacent to the race course on the Square. Vendor booths from leading industry companies and Six Gap Century sponsors will offer interactive displays, special merchandise, and product samples. Pre-registered Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty participants can check-in for Sunday’s ride on the Visitors Center plaza during the Expo. Same-day critierium registration will also be available. Admission to the Expo is free.
A new Beer Tent will be part of the Bike Expo for the first time. Race viewing will be provided along the first turn of the Criterium for patrons 21 years and older. Food from local businesses will be permitted in the tent.
Summer registration is underway for the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty, on one of the most popular recreational bicycle rides in the U.S. The “Summer Sign-Up” special of $76 is available online until Sept. 22, or when the 2,500 rider limit is reached, whichever occurs first. With advance registration participants qualify for a 15% discount with pre-orders of commemorative Six Gap jerseys, valid through Sept. 22. The jerseys are available for purchase online. Each registration includes a custom T-shirt, snacks and beverages at rest stops, showers, and a post-ride spaghetti dinner (from 11am-6pm).
The Six Gap Century’s challenging 104-mile route has become a bucket-list ride for cyclists from all across the U.S., which features 11,200 vertical feet of elevation gain across six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. The toughest climb on the century, Hogpen Gap, averages a gradient of seven percent for 7 miles, with sections as steep as 15 percent. Other ride options include the Three Gap Fifty, a 58-mile course with 6,385 vertical feet of climbing, and a 35-mile Valley Ride. There is one standard fee for all three ride options.
Among sponsors to join the weekend of festivities, Sept. 28-29, 2019, are Northside Hospital Sports Medicine, SunTrust and Chestatee Ford. New Community Sponsors include Consolidated Gold Mine, United Community Bank, and Lanier Restaurant Management Group. The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty will continue to support Georgia Bikes, a non-profit organization working to improve bicycling conditions and to promote bicycling throughout the state of Georgia. One dollar of every registration will be donated to Georgia Bikes to increase bicyclist safety through education, outreach, and better streets and trails.
The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau owns and operates the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty, as well as the Dahlonega Gold Criterium and Bike Expo. The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty boasts many of the same roads and mountain climbs that were conquered during the Tour de Georgia professional stage race. The Six Gap Century’s ultra-challenging route features six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. It is the largest participant event of the year for the organization, which grows the economy, attracts visitors, advocates for all businesses, and develops leaders to promote the welfare of the community.
11,200 vertical feet * 104 miles * 2,500 friends
Visit us at www.6gap.com * Follow us on Facebook @SixGap and Twitter @sixgapcentury
Six Gap By The Numbers:
- 2,500 registered riders
- 104 miles for Six Gap/ 58 miles for Three Gap
- Neels Gap – 3,139 feet (957 meters) *
- Jack’s Gap – 2960 feet (902 meters)
- Unicoi Gap – 2,949 feet (899 meters)
- Hogpen Gap – 3,480 feet (1,061 meters)
- Wolfpen Gap – 3,345 feet (1,019 meters) *
- Woody Gap – 3,200 feet (975 meters) *
* also part of Three Gap route; times for Bike Expo are subject to change
Jackie Tyson, Peloton Sports
Mobile: 678-362-6228, Email: [email protected]