Gwinnett Bike Fest expands races for 2009

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett cycling enthusiasts will have their fair share of cycling to watch when the Gwinnett Bike Fest rolls into town for the third straight year beginning July 22.

Due to the success of the event last year, which drew more than 500 participants from 11 states, the races have been expanded in 2009 to six races taking place over five days.

The event is sponsored by the Gwinnett Sports Commission and Top View Sports with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society and the Foster Children's Foundation.

"This year's event is expected to draw over 600 local, regional, national and international cyclists and teams," said Pete Sherrard of the Gwinnett Sports Commission. "Already one of the largest annual cycling events in the Southeast, the Gwinnett Bike Fest is also developing a reputation as a race to attend from outside the U.S., and racing teams from Aruba and Australia are expected to participate."

Sherrard said in an effort to promote riders to participate in all the different events, daily and overall prizes will be presented this year with the total prize purse standing at $11,000. He also said that the July 25 race in downtown Norcross will be an all-day affair because the city is also hosting a "Family Fun Fest."

Sherrard also noted that the Gwinnett Bike Fest is the 10th stop on the newly formed Georgia Cycling Gran Prix points series event, which is a 12-event race series that includes established races statewide.

For more information and for a complete map of the various race starting points, visit www.gcvb.org/bikefest.

SideBar: If you go

Schedule of Events for Gwinnett Bike Fest

· Road Atlanta Circuit Race, July 22, 3 p.m., Braselton

· Gwinnett Center Criterium, July 23, 3 p.m., Duluth

· Subaru of Gwinnett Road Race, July 24, 10 a.m., Dacula

· Addictive Cycles Time Trial, July 25, 8 a.m., Satellite Boulevard in Buford

· Downtown Norcross Criterium, July 25, 2 p.m., downtown Norcross

· Events Response Circuit Race, July 26, 9 a.m., Gwinnett Progress Center