Hundreds of cyclists from the 2012 Hotter’N Hell Hundred races will ride again this year through Clay County on Saturday, Aug. 25.
Three men’s races will come through Henrietta Saturday between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., according to Ken Webb, race director for HHH.
The USA Cycling Pro 1 and 2, Category 3 and Category 4 races, each of which runs 107 miles, will bring at least 100 cyclists in each category through Henrietta.
Each group will take about five minutes to get through the city of Henrietta moving at about 25 mph.
The race route through Clay County has been changed some since 2011 to add an additional 17 miles. The race was 90 miles in 2011.
The new race route enters Clay County on FM 171, traveling through Thornberry, Charlie and Byers. Riders will turn east onto FM 2332 in far eastern Clay County, then travel south to Hwy. 82. At the FM 2332 and Hwy. 82 intersection, riders turn west, toward Henrietta. In Henrietta, Racers turn north onto Hwy. 148, and travel to Petrolia. In Petrolia, racers will turn back to the southwest onto Hwy. 79, and back to Wichita Falls.
The 100-mile HHH race route was changed in 2011 to accommodate an earlier start time for the 2011 tour ride due to the extreme summer heat. The change in the race route brought racers through Henrietta for the first time.
There will be Midwestern State University racers in all three races riding for the Hotter’N Hell Hundred MSU team. Henrietta residents are more than welcome to come out and cheer, like they did in the 2011 races.
The races stage near Texoma Cycling Center and Fannin Elementary in Wichita Falls, and the first race starts at 7 a.m. The races will finish in downtown Wichita Falls.
While the first racers may arrive in Henrietta as early as 9:30 a.m., stragglers could still come through the city as late as 11 a.m.
The racers are part of a rolling enclosure. Cyclists follow and are followed by DPS vehicles and HHH motorcycles. Any racers outside the enclosure are instructed to follow traffic laws.
In 2011 HHH officials worked with members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety and the race through Henrietta went without any flaws.
The HHH annually brings approximately $8.5 million dollars into the Wichita Falls economy. The ride and race brings cyclists from around the world as well as entertainment for people who ride and those who enjoy watching cyclists on the various routes that run through the region.
The annual ride also brings people from all parts of the region to volunteer and make the annual ride a success.