WINTER HAVEN –The hilly backroads of Alturas and the streets of Winter Haven will once again come alive with cyclists peddling through all challenges the road – or Mother Nature – can throw at them thanks to the Chain of Lakes Cycling Classic. But the Sunday, March 11 race on the streets of Winter Haven will have different look this year.
This year, the southside of downtown Winter Haven will be the proving grounds for the fast and furious speed race known as the Winter Haven Criterium. The route – moved to showcase local businesses including Grove Roots Brewing Co., Egg Haven and The Bike Shop of Winter Haven, now starts and finishes on Magnolia Avenue near the BB&T Bank exit. While parking is still available on the north side, signage along Avenue C SW and SE will direct attendees to spots with the shortest walking distance possible.
Unchanged is the road race on Saturday, when cyclists take to the road south of Alturas with participants riding anywhere from 14 to 70 miles. Hundreds of racers will test their skill and timing on this road course known for its gentle, rolling topography and scenic vistas. Later in the day there will also be a timed trial.