Bicyslists from across the country compete in Roan Groan

JOHNSON CITY, Tn. - The wheels of the 30th annual Roan Groan started Saturday morning.

Over 300 professional and amateur bike racers started the race at Cat Island Park in Elizabethton.

"Today on the Roan Groan, four of the groups will do 30 miles and 3 of the groups will do 55 miles. They'll all end up at 5,512 feet on Carver's Gap, so they have a 7 and three quarter mile climb to finish their race," Reneau Dubberley, the race coordinator, said.

The participants are divided up in women's and men's sections, and there are several categories within the two by age group and ability level.

Dubberley says the course is different from last year. Organizers extended the ride from 35 to 55 miles to bring in more professional bicyclists.

After reaching the top of Roan Mountain, the same racers competed individually in shorter time trials on Temple Hill in Erwin.

The third and final races begin Sunday morning at 8 a.m. The course will finish in downtown Johnson City, and spectators can watch.

All participants are competing for a share in the $12,000 cash prize.

Sponsors include Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Tupleo Honey Café, Donate Life Tennessee, Nor-Well, Northeast State, Renasant Ban and Holiday Inn.

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