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The sport of cycling is much like golf in at least two respects. It's extremely accessible -- virtually anyone can engage in the activity -- and it's a marvel to watch people who are so good at it.


We get one such opportunity today in the Garden City, as 15 teams of cyclists roll through as part of the sixth annual Tour de Georgia bike race. Augusta is the endpoint for the second stage of the race today, which starts in Statesboro.

Cycling fans in the CSRA likely will see the first exciting part of the tour. The racers will veer into South Carolina for the tour's first King of the Mountain challenge as they climb Georgia Avenue, Arlington Heights and Carolina Avenue in North Augusta before looping back through downtown Augusta.

One-hundred-twenty cyclists from more than two dozen countries make up a competitive field that some say may be the highest quality in the young history of the race. Atop that field is Levi Leipheimer. He was the tour's runner-up in 2005, and he's the reigning U.S. champion. At last summer's Tour de France, he came in third.

So the event billed as North America's premier pro cycling event is rolling through, and lucky Augustans will get to see it. With the departure of cycling great Lance Armstrong, a celebrity void still exists in the cycling world. Spectators likely will see the next big pro star.

Don't let an opportunity like this roll past you. Stake out a spot on Broad, Reynolds or 13th streets today between about 2:30 or 3 p.m., and enjoy the fun.



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