The Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo is the only option for riders in northern America to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. The race in Jacksonville, Alabama is part of the UCI series since 2017 and got 1000 riders at the start.
In the 12 miles time trial Brock Mason renewed his win from last year in a time of 24m05 and an average speed of 47.5 km/h (29.5 m/h), 36 seconds faster than Matt Winstead with Andrew Knight in third at 53 seconds. It’s the third consecutive time that Mason wins the Cheaha time trial. He also beat the course record by 13 seconds.
The female overall win in the time trial was for Annick Isabelle Marcoux in a time of 30m32 and an average speed of 37.3 km/h (23.1 m/h), just 4 hundreds of a second faster than Leigh Ruston and 34 seconds to Jennifer Lesser.
On Sunday, the traditional century ride over the Cheaha Mountain had a small change on the course around the turning point, but the challenge remained the same with a lot of elevation on the course.
The fastest overall time was for the M45-49 age group with Andrew Knight, already third in the time trial on Saturday, winning in a time of 4h28m52 and an average speed of 35.7 km/h (22.2 m/h), a bit more than 3 minutes ahead of Owen Shott who won his M40-44 age group with youngster Josiah Chalmers (M19-34) as overall third.
Stefanie Young and Lanier Nichols battled for the female win with Stefanie finally winning in 5h23m49 in an average speed of 29.6 km/h (18.5 m/s), exactly 4 minutes faster than Nichols who won her F35-39 age category. Steph Anderson joined them on the podium as overall third.