Robert Wilhite Tapped as New Event Manager for Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty
July 16, 2020
Summer Special Offers $10 Registration Discount for Sept. 27 Ride
DAHLONEGA, GA. (July 16, 2020) – For the first time in 32 years, organizers for the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty will outsource production services for the annual bicycle ride, held each fall across the North Georgia Mountains. Robert Wilhite, a Georgia-based cycling coach and founder of the Jackson County Brevet cycling event, has been contracted as the new event manager by the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber and Visitors Bureau.
Now in its 32nd year, the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty is one of the most challenging “bucket list” bicycle rides in the U.S. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, September 27, featuring three ride options. The signature 104-mile route provides 11,200 feet of elevation gain. In recent years, registrations have been capped at 2,500 cyclists, representing 35 states and four countries. The annual economic impact to the local community is estimated to be $1.35 million.
“We wanted to maintain the high quality and standards of the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty experience that participants, sponsors and the local community have come to expect for more than 30 years. We felt that a partnership with Robert was the obvious choice. He is an experienced road cyclist and cycling coach. He also has a proven track record in managing the Jackson County Brevet here in Georgia,” said Robb Nichols, President of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber & Visitors Bureau.
“The day-to-day operations for the ride and the expo will be handed over to Robert this year. It allows the full staff of the Chamber to focus on our core mission to advocate and support the business community to keep our economy strong. We look forward to a long-term relationship in order to enhance the ride for many years to come.”
Wilhite will work with Chamber staff this summer and fall to manage ride weekend operations, such as expo set-up, ride start/finish staging, rider check-in, course marshals, rest stops, King/Queen of the Mountain competition timing, course marking and site restoration. For the 2021 event, Wilhite will assume full responsibilities as Ride Director for the event.
“I’ve ridden this event countless times, so to be involved on the management side is very exciting. This is one of the premier cycling events in the country, not just Georgia, so it’s very humbling to have been chosen by event leadership for this new role,” said Wilhite, who lives in Lawrenceville, Ga. “We want to continue to focus on delivering a top-notch experience for riders of all levels. I’ll definitely be drawing from my 23 years and 250,000 miles as a road cyclist, and all the different cycling events I’ve founded over the years.”
As a USA Cycling Certified cycling coach, Wilhite owns and operates MyCycleCoach.com, providing coaching for all levels of cyclists as well as bio-mechanical fitting services. He founded the popular Jackson County Brevet in 2010, based in Jefferson, Ga. This annual June ride offers routes of 22, 45, 63 and 100 miles and has become the largest cycling fundraising event in the U.S. to benefit Aplastic Anemia. Wilhite also founded and operates the annual Atlanta Winter Bike League, based in downtown Atlanta. Previous to launching his bicycle coaching business, Wilhite played professional golf and developed a motorcycle road racing team.
Current online registration for the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty includes a $10 Summer Special discount through the end of August. The regular fee for each individual is $86. One dollar from each registration will be donated to ConnectAbility, a Dahlonega-based community not for profit organization which encourages and enriches children and adults with disabilities. A new no-risk refund policy was adopted earlier this year to provide flexible options for participants should the event be rescheduled or cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“Needless to say, with the whole COVID-19 pandemic, safety has been elevated to another level for our 2020 event. Collaboration has been ongoing for months with organizers of major events of our size and complexity across the country. We are creating a list of new safety steps, including the requirement of masks for everyone during the staging process at the starts. Once the clock starts ticking and riders begin to distance themselves from each other, masks can be taken off. We will require riders to use the masks again at any rest stops,” added Wilhite. He said a full list of new safety guidelines will be distributed to registered participants via email in early September.
Each registration includes a custom T-shirt, snacks and beverages at multiple rest stops, changing rooms and showers, and a post-ride meal. Online registration will end when the 2,500 rider limit is reached. If spots are available, on-site registration will take place Sept. 26-27 at the Expo and the fee will be $86 plus $10 walk-up. The rides will take place rain or shine.
The Six Gap Century’s challenging route traverses six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. The Three Gap Fifty offers a 58-mile course with 6,385 vertical feet of climbing. The 35-mile Valley Ride provides undulating country roads to Turner’s Corner and back.
Northside Hospital returns for a second year as a Presenting Sponsor for Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty. Chestatee Ford returns for a seventh year as a sponsor. Other sponsors include Truist, The Pickle Juice Company and Infinit Nutrition.
The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization representing more than 450 businesses of all sizes from virtually every industry and profession in our region. Each year, the Chamber produces the Six Gap Century, Three Gap Fifty, and Valley Bike Ride, which serves as the primary fundraiser for our organization. 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.
Six Gap By the Numbers: (* also part of Three Gap route)
- 2,500 registered riders
- 104 miles for Six Gap/ 54 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)
- Wolf Pen Gap – 3,345 feet (1,019 meters) *
- Woody Gap – 3,200 feet (975 meters) *
Summer Special $10 discounted registration – http://haku.ly/0ad6ff53
More about MyCycleCoach.com – click here
Jackie Tyson, Peloton Sports
Mobile: 678-362-6228, Email: [email protected]
11,200 vertical feet * 104 miles * 2,500 friends
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