GMC News

GMC Student Presents Winnings

By Anna Schanche – The Union-Recorder
While crowds lined Hancock Street on Tuesday to watch a blur of riders race through Milledgeville, one cycling fan and his family were absent.

John Austin Vance, a 12-year-old cycling enthusiast, wasn\’t in Milledgeville to watch Lance Armstrong and others sprint through town. Instead, he was in Macon anxiously awaiting the arrival of the racers at the finish line, not just to cheer them on, but to be a part of the festivities.

Last week, Vance was asked by Jane Sowell and the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Convention & Visitors Bureau, to present an $800 check to the winner of the Maxxis Sprint at the awards ceremony in Macon.

\”I was ecstatic,\” said Vance on being asked to present the check.

Vance is an amateur cyclist who not only has dreams of becoming a pro cyclist one day, but he is also dedicated to aiding the cause of his favorite cyclist, Lance Armstrong. Vance is trying to raise $15,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by the end of August.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation seeks to provide information and support to people living with cancer through education, advocacy, public health and research.

It was Vance\’s dedication to the sport and to the fight against cancer that earned him the chance to be a part of the 2005 Dodge Tour de Georgia.

But what is it about cycling that piqued the interest of this Milledgeville native?

\”It\’s an endurance sport and if you\’re not the strongest, then you really can\’t do this because it takes a lot of effort and training,\” he said.

Vance was hoping for the chance to meet his cycling idol while in Macon for the festivities Tuesday.

\”I want to be like him if I become a pro cyclist because he just conquers everybody.\”

Anna Schanche can be reached at (478) 453-1464 or by e-mail at