Cycling and golf take center stage the second weekend of October
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Clay County is going to be full of sports the second weekend in October with the two sports bringing their events to the area.
The Great American Road Race, a USA Cycling sanctioned event, will make its debut with a time trial, road race, and criterium over Oct. 10 and 11. The AJGA’s Billy Horschel Junior Championship returns to Eagle Harbor Golf Club for four days, Oct. 8-11.
“We look forward to welcoming all the competitors and their families to our community,” said Board of County Commissioners Chairman Gayward Hendry. “We are excited to showcase our small towns on the national stage. There will be many opportunities to show your community spirit by coming out to cheer on these athletes as they compete.”
With the wide amount of cancellations of cycling events this year, the Great American Road Race is bringing a preview to the courses that will be used for the 2021 and 2022 USA Cycling Road Amateur Nationals, including a criterium event (NASCAR-type race) at Thrasher-Horne Center on the campus of the St. Johns River State College. Registration for the event opened on Sept. 2.
“The economic impact this event will bring to our community will be felt county-wide, not just in hotels, but in restaurants, retailers, gas stations and more,” said TDC Chairman, Commissioner Mike Cella. “The County is committed to bringing events like these to give our community an added economic boost, especially during slower seasons.”
More than 300 racers are expected to visit for the weekend, with more than 500 visitors coming to the destination. The estimated economic impact is $500,000 for the event, which includes more than 300 room nights and local spending at restaurants, shops, and gas stations.
“Thanks to our partners locally and with USA Cycling, we are excited to launch the Great American Road Race and look forward to giving the cyclists around the state and the Southeast an opportunity to race again,” said Joel Lamp, Senior Director of Tourism & Events for Airstream Ventures, Clay County’s sports tourism partner.
The Billy Horschel Junior Championship returns to Eagle Harbor, bringing the top junior boys and girls players to compete as part of the AJGA circuit. The event differs from most junior competitions by using the Stableford scoring system, earning points for eagles and birdies to teach junior how to play aggressively.