FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Cyclists in the Joe Martin Stage Race are speeding through Fayetteville this Thursday (April 4).
The Joe Martin Stage Race is an elite cycling race with courses up to 85 miles.
The four-day, four-stage bicycle race will compete on roads in and around Fayetteville. Cyclist took off from Walker Park around 10 a.m. Thursday and ended in Mount Sequoyah in the afternoon.
The Joe Martin Stage Race is a qualifier for the Olympics and Tour De France.
Race Director Bruce Dunn says it's one of a kind because of the atmosphere for cycling in Northwest Arkansas.
"It makes me smile. We have a big race committee that's done a great job, our volunteer base is awesome, the community really steps up. I cannot thank all of the race officials and the city for what they do for this event."
The Joe Martin Stage Race is one of 19 professional races across the country, and one of five international events.
Rain is expected throughout the weekend, but race organizers have a plan and say cyclists prepare for everything.
"We go rain, snow, sleet or shine. If there is the chance of lightning then we're gonna hold in place until the storm passes," Dunn said.
With more than 600 cyclists in town for race weekend, the City of Fayetteville encourages drivers to stay patient and aware.
"Many of these intersections, these major intersections are staffed by volunteers. They are allowing through traffic as the racers pass through as it`s safe to allow traffic to be on their way," City of Fayetteville Parking Manager Justin Clay told 5NEWS.
Click here for details on road closures during the race.
View results from the race here.