The highly regarded Great Neck Bicycle Challenge is being revived by David "Speedy" Emanuel, a bicycle racer himself in his younger days and still an avid rider.
This year's challenge will be both bigger and better than ever. David and the racing community are excited because this time professional riders will be riding side by side with elite amateurs, providing a higher quality level of competition. The prize list will be bigger than in the past, with a minimum of $5,000 awarded in cash and merchandise. The major sponsor of the challenge is Chase Bank Great Neck. Associate sponsors include the Inn at Great Neck, providing music and manning a food concession; North Bay Cadillac of Great Neck, loaning the pace car; and the Bicycle Planet of Syosset, selling bicycle merchandise; all in conjunction with the Village of Great Neck Plaza, Jean Celender, mayor. Free juice, T-shirts and other giveaways, such as stickers and removable tattoos for kids, will also be available. Hosting the five-race meet is the GBSC/FESTO bicycle team, Bill Bauer, president.
Great Neck Bicycle Challenge III will take place rain or shine on Sunday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Start/Finish line is Grade Avenue Park. The race is open to USCF licensed amateur and professional riders only. Races will take place for both men and women, according to age and skill, with the final feature race being 50 laps or 30 miles. The racecourse starts at the intersection of Barstow Road and Grace Avenue. It runs up Grace Avenue, left on Canterbury Road, left on Stoner Avenue, left on Park Place, and left on Grace Avenue back to the start/finish. This course will be barricaded off and the streets will be cleared of parked vehicles. The day's activities are free.
People wishing to volunteer with any aspect of the event should call David Emanuel, race organizer at 487-8065.