Participants in last year's Tour de Georgia bicycle race charge through Harlem on their way to Macon. The 2005 race passes through Columbia County on Tuesday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Lance Armstrong and 15 international teams will get a glimpse - but just a quick one - of Columbia County on Tuesday.
Armstrong, the six-time consecutive winner of the Tour de France, will be competing in the six-day, 2005 Dodge Tour de Georgia race, which will begin in Augusta and travel through parts of Columbia County.
Opening ceremonies for the event will kick off at 11 a.m. at the Augusta Common. At 11:30 a.m., the 650-mile stage race will begin at the Augusta Common and end in Alpharetta.
"It definitely brings the world to our back yard," Tammy Stout, the executive director for the Greater Augusta Sports Council, said about the annual race, which benefits the Georgia Cancer Coalition.
"The teams that are coming from around the globe represent 24 countries. I think it's a rare thing to have these world champions from all over the world in our community."
The race, which showcases towns and regions, will make its way through Columbia County starting at 11:58 a.m. At 12:09 p.m., cyclists are scheduled to zip through Robinson Avenue in Grovetown. By 12:24, they're set to pedal through Harlem on North Louisville Street.
Kathy Ham, department head of industry, trade and tourism in Harlem, said the race is a much-anticipated event.
"We had it two years ago, and we had a very big turnout," she said. "It's very fast. The streets are packed."
Ham said she hopes the spectator event will also draw interest to the city of Harlem.
"I would hope people would come out, have lunch and visit the museum if they haven't been in here and step outside to watch the Tour de Georgia go through," she said.
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