Make us your home page

Bike race, events allow Brooksville to showcase itself

BROOKSVILLE — What began four years ago as a celebration of two-wheeled athleticism in downtown Brooksville has grown into a multifaceted affair with an identity all its own.

Besides playing host to a bike race that attracts accomplished professions and amateurs, the city has embraced the weekend as a showcase for outdoor leisure activities.

While cyclists compete at blinding speeds around a tight, 1.2-mile criterium course that starts and finishes at Liberty and Main streets, visitors can enjoy a free art walk, a farmers market, and musical and dance performances.

Laura DeWitt, co-owner of Get Healthy, the event's main sponsor, said she's happy that the race weekend has grown into an activity with so many drawing cards.

"It's always been meant to be an event for everyone to enjoy in some fashion, whether they come for the bike racing or not," DeWitt said. "It's about getting people to come and do something fun outdoors."

Brooksville City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha agreed, saying that the Cycling Classic fits in with its effort to brand itself as a destination for outdoor events.

"Getting people to come downtown for any reason is always good for our city and our businesses," she said. "But to be associated with a premier event that attracts racers and spectators from all over is a definite plus, because it (is) the kind of community-oriented project we've been working hard to complete in the city."

For hard-core cycling athletes, the lure of the event is irresistible. Divided into two distinctive stages over two days — an in-town short-course race that challenges rider dexterity and skill, plus a road race filled with steep hills that test endurance and stamina — the event is considered among the toughest on the 22-race schedule sanctioned by Topview Sports.

"We've worked hard to try to attract the best cyclists in the country to come and see what we have to offer," DeWitt said. "And that's allowed us to build a tremendous amount of credibility in a short time."

In addition to the city-sponsored Art N Market Walk, Saturday's activities include an open ride on the course for riders of all abilities, a kids race on Liberty Street, and a police and fire rescue rally.

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

.If you go

Brooksville Cycling Classic schedule


9 to 9:30 a.m.: Bob's Red Mill open ride. Riders of all ages and abilities welcome for this 30-minute ride on the criterium course. $5 registration donation includes a goodie bag.

9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.: Criterium races. Start/finish line is at Liberty and Main streets. Racing begins with juniors at 9:30 a.m.; the pro race starts at 4:30 p.m.

4:15 p.m.: Liberty Street Kids Classic and Youth Challenge Classic. Races for children 12 and younger. Registration is free and begins just before the pro race at Liberty and Main streets. Helmet required.

4:30 p.m.: Police/fire rescue rally on Liberty Street.


9 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m.: Ice Cream Hill Road Race. Start/finish line is at the Arc Nature Coast, 5283 Neff Lake Road, east of Brooksville.

For information, call (352) 796-9798 or visit

Bike race, events allow Brooksville to showcase itself 10/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?


    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  2. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway


    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.
  4. Back to life: Event helps Riverview revert to peaceful pace after Irma

    Human Interest

    RIVERVIEW — Robin and Ray Castell say establishing residency in the Winthrop Village was one of the best decisions of their lifetime.

    hillsbrandon092217: Meredith Tucker of Riverview, the mother of two children and another one soon on the way, browses the racks of Dot Dot Smile children?€™s clothing as company merchandiser Kelcie Schranck, standing behind her in the black shirt, looks on during the first-of-its-kind Recruiting the Community event on Sept. 17 at the Barn at Winthrop in Riverview. Photo by Joyce McKenzie.
  5. SEC says hackers may have profited from stolen info


    The Securities and Exchange Commission says its corporate filing system was hacked last year and the intruders may have used the nonpublic information they obtained to profit illegally.

    In this file photo, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman nominee Jay Clayton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The SEC says a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016. [AP file photo]