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Criterium cycling races into southern Hall County
National champion hosts Dingo Days
071013 DingoDays
Dingo Race Productions will host a criterium, short-course, cycling race in downtown, historic Flowery Branch on Saturday. Races will run throughout the day and spectators may watch for free. On Sunday, a 3.2-mile race will be in Oakwood, starting and ending in front of city hall.

Dingo Race Productions LLC will host two cycling events — one Flowery Branch on July 13 and one in Oakwood on July 14.

Eight-time Australia National Trail Champion, Nathan O’Neill, and his three friends created Dingo Days for cyclists ranging in ages from 10 to 55-plus years with a professional men’s division. Spectators may watch the race for free on the streets of Flowery Branch and Oakwood.

On Saturday, Flowery Branch will host a criterium, which is a short-course race usually less than a mile and often run on closed city-center streets. This year’s race will be 0.7 miles on a rectangular course encircling historic Flowery Branch’s Old Town.

On Sunday, the race in Oakwood will be 3.2 miles on the city’s main connecting roads.

O’Neill and his friends — Betty Hodges, Michael James and John D. Strickland — selected the two Hall County towns for a specific purpose.

"Flowery Branch has an attractive and engaging downtown area with multiple shops to interest the spectators while they watch," Hodges said. "Many spectators find this type of racing the most exciting to watch, as the races tend to be very fast and the racers pass the spectators repeatedly during the race.

"Oakwood has a fantastic 5K circuit course that will start and finish right in front of the city hall and their new city park," she continued.

O’Neill, who retired from racing in 2010, began considering starting a racing promotion company with his friends after moving to Braselton. In January 2011, they established Dingo Race Productions LLC.

"All of us desire to produce high quality events that challenge the racers and delight the spectators," Hodges said.

Dingo Days of Summer inaugural event was in 2012 at Allen Creek in Gainesville. The race gained "moderate" success, said Hodges, including 150 racers and approximately the same number of spectators.

"We hope to continue to grow the event and to make it a special and productive event for each venue," Hodges said. "We endeavor to create events that the racers talk about and look forward to returning to compete in, year after year."

Racers for this year’s event are expected from throughout the South.

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