HIGH POINT CYCLING CLASSIC ANNOUNCES NAMING SPONSOR IS SMART CHOICE® FOR THE SMART CHOICE® USA CYCLING PROFESSIONAL CRITERIUM NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Longtime event supporter, Smart Choice®, will be the naming sponsor of both the men’s and women’s events in the Smart Choice® USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships set for Sept. 6, according to leaders of the High Point Cycling Classic.
Last year more than 10,000 people from all over the region and southeast attended the criterium’s most prestigious annual bike race held on a nearly mile-long course through downtown city streets. This is the second year of a two-year contract with High Point to hold the national championships.
“With the Smart Choice® sponsorship we will be able to elevate the race production to a whole new level, both for people attending the race, and for those following the competition around the country and internationally over the internet,” says Randy Carda, chairman of the Cycling Classic. “Through the additional sponsorship dollars from Smart Choice®, four cameras will be added, including one moto-mounted camera in front of the racers, and one camera circulating the crowd. The full professional production crew will also produce post-event highlight videos for the USA Cycling website.”
The race will be streamed this year on two separate internet channels. Ten city cameras will provide an overview of the racers as they navigate the course, once again with announcers who will broadcast a play-by-play of the race, which also will be displayed on multiple jumbo screens at the event. The new second feed – with a separate team of announcers to share team strategies and techniques – will be produced by a sophisticated production team that will switch shots from among the city cameras, the moto and portable cameras that catch the race from eye level.
“Our 2014 Smart Choice® Championships will be a first class event followed by fans both nationally and internationally,” says Carda. “This will firmly establish High Point as a hub for professional cycling for many years to come.”
This year marks the fourth year that Smart Choice® will be one of the top sponsors of the High Point Cycling Classic. The company played an integral role in helping to bring the national championships to the city and has worked to raise awareness, both locally and nationally, since the first event.
“We are thrilled that the Cycling Classic brings together so many organizations in our city for a weekend of free events that not only showcases High Point, but provides funding and exposure to many non-profit agencies,” says Doug Witcher, CEO of Smart Choice. “Our company has made a commitment to the City of High Point. It is our hope that our sponsorship for this event and others will inspire other companies to get involved.”
A Criterium, or “crit” to biking insiders, is a high-speed, action-packed bike race in which individuals and teams speed around a short course of closed downtown streets. In High Point, the races will start and finish at the Mendenhall Transportation Terminal across from the Showplace showroom on East Commerce Avenue. High Point’s 0.95-mile crit course, new for 2014, features a combination of high-speed turns and constricted roadways that create excitement for racers and spectators alike. The pack of racers returns to the starting point every 70 seconds or less, continually jockeying for position until a final sprint to the finish.
High Point competed with more than 30 cities across the United States for the rights to host the Professional Criterium National Championships in 2013-2014. Over a hundred professional cyclists from around the country are expected to participate in next year’s event. 2014 will mark the fifth year for the High Point Cycling Classic.
The annual High Point Cycling Classic, Sept. 4 through 6, is a three-day community event of fun activities for all ages including live music outdoors, exhibitions by custom bicycle builders, a Kid Zone, a cycling-themed art show, and a gallery of collectible vintage racing bicycles. Admission is free for all events. Piedmont Charity Sports Promotions, a local nonprofit, administers the event and organizes hundreds of volunteers from the area to produce this community festival. Cycling Classic events in past years have generated more than $180,000 in funding for select area charities and agencies. For more details, visit www.hpcyclingclassic.com.
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About Smart Choice:
The Smart Choice® Agents Program is wholly-owned by Worldwide Insurance Network, Inc. (WIN), headquartered in High Point, North Carolina. The program, consisting of more than 3,900 independent insurance agents in 43 states, provides insurance markets and agency development services. For more information, visit www.smartchoiceagents.com.
About the High Point Cycling Classic:
The annual High Point Cycling Classic, launched in 2010, is a community event of music, food and other fun activities. In 2013 and 2014, the High Point Cycling Classic has included the USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships, a prestigious annual bike race held on a course of city streets. A free event, the High Point Cycling Classic is directed by Piedmont Charity Sports Promotions, a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit administered by local volunteers.
About USA Cycling:
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 64,000 members; 2,700+ clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions over 3,100 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.