Pro cyclists, NASCAR drivers confirmed for Assault on Mt. Mitchell
Published 3:29 pm Friday, May 12, 2017
Riders to pass through Green Creek Monday morning
Among the nearly 850 cyclists attempting to complete the 42nd Annual Assaults on May 15 are a host of returning and new professional cyclists and professional athletes. Returning to ride The Assault on Mt. Mitchell is George Hincapie, one of the most recognized riders in the world, and record-tying seven-time NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson. Riding The Assault on Mt. Mitchell for the first time are Bobby Julich, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray.
A professional cyclist until his retirement in 2008, Bobby Julich finished third in the 1998 Tour de France (becoming only the second American to finish on the podium) and won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Individual Time Trial. On the heels of a successful professional career, Julich runs Julich Coaching & Consulting, to help top-level cyclists reach their goals.
Matt Kenseth has driven in the NASCAR Cup Series for 19 years. Winning the Cup Championship in 2003, Kenseth also holds an International Race of Champions (IROC) title, and has qualified for the playoffs in 11 of his 12 seasons. He has 38 Cup Series victories, 171 top-five finishes, 309 top-10 finishes and 18 pole awards. Kenseth is also one of only 11 drivers in the history of NASCAR who have won the Daytona 500 more than once.
Bursting onto NASCAR’s scene in 2002, Jamie McMurray won his first race on his second start in the Sprint Cup series, as a substitute for Sterling Marlin. In 2003, McMurray was named Rookie of the Year, and in 2006, he established himself as one of the top drivers for Ford Racing, scoring two of his biggest career wins at Daytona and Talladega. In 2010, under Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, McMurray swept NASCAR’s two biggest races, the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. He made the playoffs in both 2015 and 2016.
The 42nd Annual Assaults is set for Monday, May 15. This one-day century ride, known as the Southeast’s premier cycling experience, attracts nearly 850 cyclists from around the world each year. The only cycling event allowed to reach the peak of Mt. Mitchell – the highest mountaintop in the Southeastern United States – the ride is also known as “the Beast of the East.” Riders leave from Spartanburg, S.C. and head to either Marion, N.C. (74.2 miles) or the top of Mt. Mitchell (102.7 miles).
A portion of the proceeds from the 2017 Assaults will support HUB Cycle, a program of Partners for Active Living. This program increases the availability of and access to bicycles for those using bicycles as a primary means of transportation in Spartanburg, S.C. Additional organizations supported by the ride include Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Palmetto Cycling Coalition, the Spartanburg Humane Society and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.
To register, riders may visit theassaults.com. Registration closes Saturday, May 13 at noon. Volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, contact Briana Carr by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 864-672-8600.
– article submitted by Jamie Prince