Cycling event moved from Lexington to Winston-Salem due to rough roads

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Organizers are preparing to stage the 2013 Herbalife N.C. State Criterium Championships this weekend at the company’s site off Union Cross Road.

Piedmont Charity Sports Promotion Inc. of Winston-Salem, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the cycling event, said Jim Martin, Piedmont Charity’s founder. He founded Piedmont Charity five years ago to stage cycling events to raise money for local nonprofit groups and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The event had been held for the past four years in downtown Lexington. But organizers moved to the Herbalife site after the repaving project on Main Street in Lexington made that surface unsafe for the riders, Martin said.

“Herbalife was kind enough to step in and said we could hold it at its industrial park,” Martin said.

Herbalife officials were happy to make the offer, said Julian Cacchioli, the company’s vice president for corporate communications.

“As a company, Herbalife recognizes it has an important role to play in the community, and we hope this is the first of many such events that we can be a part of in Winston-Salem,” Cacchioli said.

A group of 200 to 250 riders are expected to participate in the event that will be held on a 3/4-mile course, Martin said. Depending on the competitors’ age, they will ride in 30- to 60-minute races in timed events.

Winners will receive medals and will be recognized as state champions for their age group and category.

The Winston-Salem Journal contributed to this report.

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