It’s hard to believe the Highland Rim Cycling Classic is celebrating two decades of top-flight bicycle racing in Warren County this year, but the 20th annual event will be coming up this weekend.
The races, which are held Saturday and Sunday, draw pro and amateur riders from around the region, nation and sometimes even foreign soil. There will be over $10,000 in cash prizes and the event is sanctioned and recognized by the Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association.
Race day packet pick-up will be near the start/ finish line at Victory Free Will Baptist Church located at 1675 Old Harrison Ferry Road from 6 a.m. to 30 minutes prior to the category race time.
According to race information, the road race, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, will again travel up Baker Mountain Road in what is a grueling 55-mile loop.
The pro category 1 and 2 will travel the course twice in a demanding 110-mile competition. All others, categories 3-4-5, women, master and juniors (15-18), will do the main loop of 55 miles once. The 10-14-year-olds will do laps on a 4.5-mile loop.
The start/ finish line is three miles south of McMinnville on Highway 8.
The time trial will again run straight up Harrison Ferry Mountain, so riders are advised to get ready for another grueling climb. The time trial is a 2.5-mile climb with a grade of 8 percent.
The start point will be Dark Hollow Road.
The first time trial rider starts at 3:31 p.m. and the rest will follow at 30-second intervals.
The criterium will begin Sunday morning at 8 a.m. This year the criterium will be held at Warren County High School. Though it has several long, flat, straight sections, this is still a fairly technical course. Parking is available inside the course, so allow extra time to cross the course. Riders must be registered at least 30 minutes prior to their start time. Pre-registered riders must pick up their packets at least 30 minutes before start time.
For more information, visit the Highland Rim Cycling Classic on the Internet at www.warrentn.com, then click on Highland Rim Cycling Classic on the left side of the page under Chamber Sponsored Events. Online pre-registration will be available at www.bikereg.com.
The cycling classic is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the City of McMinnville, Warren County, Dr Pepper, River Park Hospital, Applebee’s and Velo Vixens.