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Cycling: Gran Prix back in Hall County
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The streets of downtown Gainesville will be buzzing this afternoon as the Gran Prix Criterium returns to Hall County with an afternoon of high-speed cycling action.

The criterium, a fan-friendly brand of racing in which competitors speed around the downtown streets of Washington, Green, Spring and West Academy, is expected to feature fields approaching 100 racers beginning with the 14-and-under juniors race at 12:30 p.m. Races will continue throughout the afternoon, with the featured ProAm race scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m.

The Gainesville course, which features long straightaways on Washington and Spring Streets, allows racers to reach speeds up to 30 mph.

The two juniors races and the lower division women’s race are timed.

The next three races will run for 30 minutes plus three laps and the final two races prior to the ProAm will run for 45 minutes plus three laps. The ProAm is a 60-lap race, with cyclists whizzing around the course at close to one minute per lap.

Professional race teams like Jittery Joe’s, Toshiba and others will on hand for the event, as will nationally recognized cyclists like Athens resident John Murphy, who races with Health Net.

Murphy finished first at the Georgia Cup Albany time trial and most recently won the Tour of Taiwan in March.

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