WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Boston Scientific Winston- Salem Cycling Classic is underway downtown hosting hundreds of international competitors.
Race Director Ray Boden said this year 27 countries are represented between about 350 competitors.
Approximately 70 Winston-Salem police officers will guide and direct traffic throughout the city during the races.
Cyclists compete for cash prizes up to $4,000 and can gain $1,000 bonus prizes for sprint and climb challenges.
"We've gained a reputation as being one of the hardest road races in the country in our first year that people compared us to a former San Francisco race that's incredibly challenging," Boden said.
Winston-Salem is a top contender for an Olympic Cycling training facility on Liberty Street. Boden said the cycling classic allows them to be competitive for the facility and could bring job opportunities for the city.
"If we achieve that, and I think we stand a great chance, that will mean some jobs on Liberty Street, more visitors, some USA Cycling and U.S. Olympic approved routes around the town for people to come here and visit and ride," Boden said.