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Cyclists descend on Gainesville today
Downtown Gainesville Grand Prix Criterium returns to city
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Bikes, Bands and Healthy Bodies

What: Fifth annual Downtown Gainesville Gran Prix and Criterium

When: Races at 5:30 p.m., Pro/Am event at 9 p.m. Saturday; additional races will be held on Sunday at Tadmore Elementary

Where: Downtown Gainesville square Saturday; Tadmore Elementary on Sunday

How much: Free

More info:

For cycling fans, a day full of action awaits.

This morning, Stage 14 of the Tour de France will take place. This afternoon the Downtown Gainesville Gran Prix Criterium returns. And for those not in Europe, the latter can be viewed live and in person on the Gainesville square.

As part of the Georgia Cup, which started in Rome on March 14 and has been a weekend event since, the Gainesville Gran Prix Criterium will feature nearly 50 riders from the top teams in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia.

"You have racers going around the square at speeds in excess of 30 mph or 40 mph. What you are going to see is a lot of fun racing," said James Lowe, director of the Georgia Cup.

The course will be a loop formed by Washington, West Academy and Green Streets and will follow a circuit ride that will go from 27-36 miles depending on the level of the rider.

The circuit rides begin at 8:40 a.m. today, the Criterium will begin at 5:40 tonight.

"The bike race is pretty big, seeing as though the Georgia Cup is the nation’s largest Pro/Am cycling series in the country," Lowe said.

The weekend concludes with a road race Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. that will stretch 68 miles for the ProAm and elite riders and 46 miles for masters and under.

At the end of Sunday’s race, winners will receive medals and money with the ProAm winner earning the highest payout at $1,000.

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