29th Annual

Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo

Century, ULTRA, & Time Trial

(And Chief Ladiga Cruise Family Ride)

Saturday & Sunday

May 14 & 15, 2022

Jacksonville, Alabama

The Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA) is honored to again host the qualifiers for 2022 UCI Gran Fondo and Time Trial World Championships to be held September 2022 in Trento, Italy.


We are thrilled the UCI has chosen our rides and look forward to again inviting cyclists from all over the world to visit our little corner of the world on the weekend of May 14 & 15, 2022.


Saturday, May 14: Cheaha Challenge Time Trial, Eubanks Welcome Center, Piedmont, AL


The 12 mile course is flat and fast, held on the Chief Ladiga Trail, a paved rails-to-trail, from Piedmont to Jacksonville, and is the qualifier for all age groups. (Note: Our TT is also the AL/GA State Championship, and we have a Junior Division for that championship. See all TT details on the TT page.)


Sunday, May 15: Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century is the qualifier for all age groups.


What This Means for YOU, our Riders

1. The first three in each age category and the top 20% of each age category of those cyclists who START the ride will be awarded with guaranteed entry to the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship. (Note: If there are three who start in your age group – everybody qualifies! If there are five who start, the top three qualify.  If there are 100 who start in your age group, 20 will qualify.)


2. For the Gran Fondo World Championship, only the CENTURY riders of the Challenge are eligible to receive this designation.


3. UCI age groups are determined by the cyclist's age on Dec. 31 of the year of the event. (i.e. If you don't turn 50 until August, you would still compete in the 50-54 age group in May.)


4. UCI age groups are:


0-18  (Not an UCI age Group, so ineligible for UCI World Championship).













NOTE:  According to new UCI rules, 80+ age groups will be established as soon as a rider in the age group has registered.  Age groups are created in 5 year groupings (80-84, 85-89, etc.)


5.  Age group winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd/male and female) will receive a UCI medal.  Also, 1st Place age group winners (male and female) will receive a UCI jersey.


6.  For those riders on the equipment listed below, per UCI rules, your time will not be eligible for qualification for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.


  • E-Bikes / Pedal-Assist Bikes
  • Recumbent Bike
  • Hand Cycle/Bike
  • Tandem Bike
  • Time Trial Bike
  • Bikes With Aero Bars


Cyclists using these bikes are always welcome to ride the century, or any distance; however, as stated above, you will not be able to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. (For the UCI Time Trial Qualifier, cyclists can ride a Time Trial Bike or a regular road bike, mountain bike, or gravel bike; however, there are stricter rules for the actual World Championship event concerning types of bikes. Check with the current UCI rules.)


7.  Riders must show I.D. when picking up their rider packets.


Important Info about YOUR ride - Don't get DQ'd!


PLEASE READ: Very important info about YOUR start time. Don’t get DQ’d!


Wave Start Info:  TBA


NOTE: You MUST start with your age group. The UCI uses gun time for the qualifying results; however, we will have timing mats at the start which would show if you start in the incorrect group.


Erwin Vervecken, our UCI contact, explains the use of Gun Time over Chip Time this way: "The UCI principle of gun time is based on the overall UCI race regulations. I’ll give you an example why this is applied: Can you imagine that rider 1 is starting in the back of the peloton and goes over the start carpet 3 seconds later than a competitor (rider 2) in the same age group.  In the end, they both sprint for victory with rider 1 from the back of the peloton winning and rider 2 who started in front arriving in second wheel in wheel with no time difference.  With net time, rider 2 would win although he was beaten in the sprint.  That’s why gun time is applied in all competitive UCI events, also in the UCI Gran Fondo World Series.”






The Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA is a Top Ten Gran Fondo in the US, as ranked by Gran Fondo Guide!