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Few traffic headaches expected for Sunday's bike race
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The bicycle race coming to downtown Gainesville on Sunday is expected to cause minimal traffic disruptions, police said.

Gainesville Police Lt. Keith Lingerfelt said the downtown square will effectively be closed to vehicles starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, but should be reopened by 8:30 p.m.

The effected streets are West Academy from Washington to Spring streets, Washington from E.E. Butler to West Academy, and Spring Street from E.E. Butler to West Academy. The event will also effect Main and Bradford streets directly off the square, Lingerfelt said.

Also, traffic will not be allowed to turn from Jesse Jewell Parkway onto West Academy, he said.

The Georgia Cup Gainesville Gran Prix and Criterium will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m., with the featured Pro/Am event scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nationally recognized teams will include Toshiba, Jet Network and Memorial Health. Cyclist John Murphy of the Health Net team will be competing fresh off a win at the Tour of Taiwan.

Riders will turn 60 laps around the square at speeds approaching 30 mph.

Downtown restaurants will have expanded sidewalk cafes along the course for spectators. The start-finish line will be located on the Spring Street side of the square.

Today, time trials for the Gran Prix begin at 8 a.m. in Jackson County in the Talmo/Pendergrass area at North Jackson Elementary.

Beginning at noon, a road race of 60 miles will wind its way through portions of Jackson and Hall County, with a circuit that encompasses side roads off of U.S. 129.

James Lowe, director of the Georgia Cup Series, said traffic on U.S. 129 is not expected to be delayed by much.

"It’s a rolling enclosure, so there won’t be any major inconveniences," Lowe said.

Spectators for Saturday’s races are invited to come to Jackson Elementary School, where food and beverages will be available.

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