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Albany preparing for SB&T Bike Race

Bike riders race through the wet streets of downtown Albany in March 2012. This year's SB&T race has been moved to Memorial Day weekend. (MAy 19, 2013)

Bike riders race through the wet streets of downtown Albany in March 2012. This year's SB&T race has been moved to Memorial Day weekend. (MAy 19, 2013)

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany welcomes the SB&T Bike Criterium & Road Race this weekend.

Previously a part of the Rock, Roll & Run Weekend in March, this year the SB&T Bike Race will be part of the Southeast Regional Series (SRS).

"Moving the SB&T Bike Race provides us as opportunity to grow the race and have it as a standalone event,' said Rashelle Beasley, Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau director. 'We are excited to be the kick off location and only site in Georgia for the inaugural year of the Southeast Regional Series. We are estimating between 150-300 riders per day with this series."

The Southeast Regional Series (SRS) produced by Start Smart Cycling is a new race series that crisscrosses the southeast region of the United States. Five race weekends are conducted spanning five months across five states.

After leaving Albany, the Southeast Racing Series travel through Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee, before culminating in Greenville, S.C. Each weekend follows the classic formula of a downtown criterium led by the official SRS BMW pace car on Saturday followed by a road race Sunday morning, allowing ample time to get home in time for work or school on Monday.

"Albany has welcomed the South's strongest cyclists to our city for nine years and we expect that being the kickoff venue of the 2013 Southeast Regional Series, that will bring in the largest participation numbers we've ever had," said Michele Moulton, Pecan City Peddler Cycling Club Race Team director.

"SB&T is proud to continue our sponsorship of bike race weekend," stated Mark Lane, president and CEO of SB&T in Albany. "We're especially excited about the new opportunities presented by becoming a part of the SRS Race Series. Hosting a premier event such as this will boost tourism in Albany, which will resonate positively throughout our entire community."