The ranking is three spots higher than what the Calhoun County cycling event earned last year. The improved ranking should help further promote the longtime annual event to a wider audience and encourage its growth, a Cheaha Challenge organizer says.
The four-year-old Alabama Backroads Century Ride Series includes the Cheaha Challenge on its 13-ride schedule and had a presence at Sunday’s ride, handing out calendars, medals and champion’s jerseys for 100-mile and 124-mile “ultra” course finishers.
Top finisher Kat Sweatt is the first woman to come in first in the South's toughest century bicycle ride. In the 124-mile Ultra ride, Birmigham's Mark Fisher managed to finish first even after stopping to help a competitor fix a flat.
The Cheaha Challenge has long been called “the toughest ride in the South” but organizers of the Six Gap Century call their ride “the toughest in the Southeast.”