ROANOKE, Va. – With cheers, bells, and the whirring of wheels, a crowd anxiously awaited to see who would be crowned the USA Cycling Amateur National Champion.
It’s been a long time coming for 18-year-old competitor Viggo Moore.
“It’s my last chance at a national jersey,” said Moore.
The Utah native started cycling at just 10 years old.
“I’ve been training for this for eight years,” said Moore.
It’s the first time the competition has been held in Southwest Virginia at the Botetourt Sports Complex, and competitors like Moore have traveled across the globe to compete.
“Although it’s a bit hotter than where I’m from, the kind of rolling hills and like the trees and forests is kind of like where I live in Germany,” said Moore.
About 600 athletes and their families and friends came to the region, giving our local businesses some love. Competitors stayed at hotels, ate at restaurants, and shopped at stores in the area: All big wins for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
“I get goosebumps just thinking about what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time,” said John Oney, the director of sales for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “This is sort of the mecca for cycling.”
After a quick tumble and a neck-to-neck battle in a final push to the finish, Moore claimed the national title and the opportunity to compete in the World Championships in Australia this fall.
“It’s been great racing here and yeah, we’ll see you again next year,” said Moore.