Streets to close for cycling race

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Sunday rides in the country take on new meaning this week as cyclists competing in the United States Cycling Federation Elite National Road Race Championship here will go from downtown Natchez out to Kingston.

Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said streets downtown will be closed during the downtown portion of the race, between approximately 4 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

&uot;This is a big event and we’re proud to have it in Natchez,&uot; Huff said. &uot;I think it’s going to be very entertaining for all observers. It’s covering a lot of streets and intersections in downtown Natchez. We’re asking motorists and residents to be patient. People need to pay attention while driving in the area because all major streets downtown will be closed. Motorists will be able to cross after the main contingent pass. But cars will not be allowed to travel on the bike route.&uot;

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Huff said parking will be prohibited on downtown streets from 3:30 p.m. until the race is over.

&uot;At the time of the race people need to be aware of the route,&uot; Huff said. &uot;We’re attempting to contact residents downtown and make them aware of the itinerary.&uot;

Sunday’s race will start at 1 p.m. on Main Street and head out to Kingston for a 17-mile circuit.

Cyclists will go out Liberty Road and head out to Kingston on Springfield road.

There they will take four race loops before heading back into town on Liberty Road, turning left on Auburn Avenue.

Those laps will go from Upper Kingston Road to right on Hutchins Landing and then right on Carmel Church Road.&160;Cyclists then hit Ogden Road before making the loop again.

On the fourth lap, cyclists will held back on Springfield to downtown Natchez.

Riders take a left on Liberty Road and turn left on Auburn Ave., upon reaching the city limits.

Cyclists will then do six laps downtown, including riding up and down Natchez-under-the-Hill over a 4.5-mile circuit.

The first racer is expected to cross the finish line on Main Street between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., depending on the conditions.

&uot;We’re certainly proud to host this event,&uot; Huff said. &uot;We want to put our best foot forward. We want to put our best foot forward and let them have a good time. And if anybody has any questions, they can call the police department.&uot;

Thursday: Local cyclist Frank Moak discusses what and who to look for in race.