Racers ride in Lee County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Racers ride in Lee County

February 26, 2006 Lee County -- Racers and cyclist fans take your marks. About 300 bikers were in Lee County today competing in the very first race of the Maxxis Georgia Cup series. This race is day two of Beauchamp Bike Race Weekend here in South Georgia.

Jonathan Atkins started training about four months ago when he caught wind of the first bike race of the Georgia Cup Series. He enters the race in top place, but he didn't do it alone.

"It's not an individual sport like everyone may think. It takes unselfish effort from all the guys on the team, which happened yesterday to get me to the front of the race."

Organizers say about 300 cyclers peddled up to the starting line. Many are first time visitors to south Georgia. Race Director Gentry Arnette calls Albany and Lee County a great kickoff to a memorable series this year.

"Everybody's talking about Albany. They'll all go back to like Miami, Charlotte, Knoxville and all over the southeast talking about Albany Georgia."

Jonathan Atkins already had memories to share. "We came through it's just beautiful roads in this area."

Considering Atkins has raced against men like seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. He isn't always in it for the win.

"It's the commraderie. It's a good feeling. And it's in my blood."

Win or lose, today Atkins and the other racers had a handle on a good time in south Georgia.

The Maxxis Georgia Cup series visits eight cities throughout the state. The last race will be in Atlanta this October.

Some South Georgia Cyclists also competed in the Maxxis Cup today. Team members spent some time warming up prior to the big race. They said because they've traveled these roads before, they have a better sense of distance to the finish line.

"They've never ridden the course. They're blind to what's coming up. We know the terrain a little better. Right," president Dan Hill and his team member said.

The team hoped the hometown advantage would bring a big win. The South Georgia Cyclists had one member in third place racing for the omnium this afternoon. Team members said they would be working together to get him to the top spot.

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