Southern Highlands bike race returns Friday to Cherokee

The Tour of the Southern Highlands, a three-day bicycle racing event, returns to Cherokee County on Friday, March 1, with time trials in Ball Ground and a Downtown Woodstock Criterium in Woodstock.

A Ball Ground Circuit Race is set for Saturday, March 2, and a High Country Road Race starting in Ball Ground, for Sunday, March 3. Information:

Woodstock officials said the race in that city begins at 6 p.m. Friday, with a race route of Mill to Market to Maple to Paden streets and repeat. The contest, with live announcements and an infield watch party, will end about 10:30 p.m. The four streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic from about 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The lower level of the parking deck and on-street parking south of Maple at Walton Communities will be accessible from Dupree Road at all times during the event, officials said. Access will be restricted to upper-level deck parking on Maple and the entire deck from Reeves Street.

Residents are advised to move their vehicles prior to the road closures, officials said.

Tour of the Southern Highlands is a professional/elite junior and two-day amateur cycling stage race, a USA Cycling sanctioned Pro/Am with a full schedule, a USA Junior National Team selection race, and the only selection race east of the Rocky Mountains, according to the event website.