Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo
Century, ULTRA, & Time Trial
(And Chief Ladiga Cruise Family Ride)
Saturday & Sunday
May 15 & 16, 2021
Underwritten by Highland Health Systems
Individual Awards & Categories
Team Awards & Categories
Mark Wiltshire Cheaha Challenge
Spirit of a Champion Award
This award is in honor of Mark Wiltshire, M. D., a local family practice physician who served as president of the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association and was one of the originators of the Cheaha Challenge Century ride in 1993. Wiltshire was a passionate cyclist, both road and mountain bike, and a staunch supporter of the Chief Ladiga Trail before his death in 1997 after a short battle with cancer.
The Spirit of a Champion Award embodies Wiltshire’s attributes, and is a way to recognize a cyclist who inspires us by cycling despite physical limitations or illness.
2016 Winner – Bill Rogers
For 2016, the Cheaha Challenge Spirit of a Champion award committee awarded Bill Rogers, Wells Fargo Advisor Regional Director, for his passion for cycling and commitment to supporting the Cheaha Challenge ride so others can enjoy the sport of cycling.
2017 Winner - Brian Smith
For 2017, the Cheaha Challenge Spirit of a Champion award committee awarded Brian Smith of Tuscaloosa for his inspiring dedication to the sport despite physical limitations.
2018 Winner - Wayne Spooner
For 2018, the Cheaha Challenge Spirit of a Champion award committee awarded Wayne Spooner of Trussville for his dedication to the sport of cycling, particularly by facilitating training and organized rides in our state. Despite battling cancer, Wayne continues to be an inspiration to all who know him.
2019 Winner - Jeff Brooks
For 2019, the Cheaha Challenge Spirit of a Champion award committee chose Jeff Brooks from Anniston for his commitment to the sport of cycling and for his ability to comeback after serious accidents involving a dog, an armadillo, and a pickup truck. Jeff is an inspiration to the local cycling community.
2020 - Event was canceled due to pandemic.
2020 - Winner Tracy Draper
For 2021, the Cheaha Challenge Spirit of a Champion award committee chose Tracy Draper from Eustis, FL for her passion for cycling and commitment to help others in the sport. Despite coming back from serious health and emotional issues, Tracy's infectious enthusiasm for life is evidenced by her personal mantra, so simple and profound -- "LIVE IT!"