NCC racing returns to Alabama for 2013


The Sunny King Criterium, the cornerstone event of the Anniston, Alabama’s Noble Street Festival, celebrates its 11th anniversary on Saturday, April 20. As one of the key stops on the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), some of the nation’s top men and women professional cyclists will take part in a day of high-speed racing that will be streamed live to the world.
The Sunny King Criterium is shaping up as an extremely exciting event on the NCC. (Photo by Philip Darden,
The Sunny King Criterium is shaping up as an extremely exciting event on the NCC. (Photo by Philip Darden,
“It is our pleasure to again welcome the top pro men and womens teams, as well as amateur competitors, to Anniston, Alabama.” said race director Mike Poe. “We are humbled to host an event that has consistently produced podiums featuring the top athletes in domestic criterium racing.”

Since 2003 the event has anchored an entire weekend of local food and fun in the recognized cultural center of northeast Alabama. Along with the Sunny King Criterium, this year’s Noble Street Festival, will feature the 12 local eateries participating in the Red Diamond Restaurant Tour, the family-centric fun of the Scion Kid Zone and Mellow Mushroom Mad Dash, the YMCA 5K, and plenty of music courtesy of the Hot Blast Music Café.
On Sunday,more cycling is afoot with both the annual Foothills Classic Road Race and the welcome to all comers 21st Running of Cheaha Challenge presented by Wells Fargo Advisors.

“The Cheaha Challange is a gorgeous ride,” said former Tour de France rider Frankie Andreu. “The rest stops are a lot of fun and I look forward to riding with everyone this year and doubling the fun I had last time.”
Andreu will also be on hand at the Sunny King Criterium greeting all of the cycling fans, and chiming in on the day’s race commentary. Also returning to the event will be 2012 Sunny King Criterium Champion Issac Howe of Team Smartstop presented by Mountain Khakis.
“The Sunny King Criterium was just an incredible experience,” says Howe of last year’s victory. “That was my first NCC win and it felt like all the grit and sweat that I had put into my training all winter made for a huge accomplishment for me personally and for my team. I still think about it almost daily.”
Those sentiments are echoed by Erica Allar (CARE4Cycling powered by Solomon Corp), winner of the women’s side of the 2012 event.
“I’m excited to go back,” says Allar who last year was also crowned USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar champion. “They put on a great event and they really take care of the women riders. I think the uphill finish adds a nice technical aspect to the traditional concept of a four corner crit. (And) they are the pioneers of online streaming for people at home to watch.”
The Sunny King Criterium was recognized as a Top 10 event in Alabama by the state's tourism bureau and will once again be seen online at a number of locations including:
“Streaming all of the action live on-line provides more exposure for the teams and sponsors,” says Mike Poe. “And fans from around the world will once again be able to watch our 2013 winners being crowned.”
Tune in live from 12-9 p.m. Central to catch all of the excitement from both amateur racers as well as top American cycling squads like UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Hincapie Sportwear Development, Colavita/Fine Cooking, and many more.
For more information on the Sunny King Criterium point your web browser to Sunny King Criterium online, or the Noble Street Festival for details on all of the weekend’s events.

This Article Updated April 1, 2013 @ 09:59 PM For more information contact: