Andrew Knight and Lisa Houser: Best Climbers on Alabama Roads


The Cheaha Challenge Granfondo, one of the oldest granfondos in the United States and a unique qualifier event for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in North America, proved once again to be one of the best-organized events in the country. Over 1,000 riders participated.

In the time trial on Saturday, Dean Philips outperformed many younger opponents, recording the fastest time of the day at 24m32s over the 12-mile course. He was 7 seconds faster than Andrew Knight, who competed in the same M45-49 age group. Sean Martin took overall third, finishing just over a minute later. The top three females were Lisa Csencsits, who edged out Elizabeth Foxx by 2 seconds, with Tina Carter in third.

On Sunday, the traditional century ride over Alabama’s highest peak was both challenging and scenic. Riders were released in three waves based on age: under 45, between 45 and 54, and over 55, alongside many non-UCI qualifier distances. The final sprint saw Rick Rouillon, starting with the younger men, competing against 47-year-old Andrew Knight from Georgia. Knight bridged the 5-minute gap to the younger riders, achieving the fastest time of the day. Dan Netzer, 52, finished third overall, 8 minutes behind.

The fastest female in the century ride was 39-year-old Lisa Houser from Louisiana, who finished 12 minutes ahead of Stefanie Young from Utah. Stephanie Clark, 28, from Georgia, recorded the third-fastest time, with all three women winning their respective age groups.

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