USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships to come to Virginia’s Blue Ridge in June

The best amateur cyclists in the nation will converge in the region for three days of racing

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The best amateur cyclists in the nation will be testing their abilities on courses released on Wednesday by leaders of Virginia’s Blue Ridge as well as Roanoke County, Franklin County and the City of Roanoke.

“We are thrilled to bring the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships back to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Few places in America are as beautiful for cycling as the County of Roanoke, the County of Franklin, and the City of Roanoke. The severity of the terrain and the competitiveness of the field will ensure that whoever puts on the Stars & Stripes jersey at the end of the weekend will be a worthy champion,” said Brendan Quirk, CEO of USA Cycling.

Quirk continued, “If you look back at the history of U.S. Amateur Road winners, it reads like a roll call of the next generation of Olympians, Tour de France stage winners, and World Championship contenders. Virginia’s Blue Ridge will be the center of American cycling in mid-June, and it will be amazing to watch the next generation of superstars showcase what they’re made of.”

Leaders revealed the courses for the event at a news conference at Explore Park in Roanoke County, which will host the first event, the Individual Time Trial.

Known as the race against the clock, riders will each ride solo to see how fast they can complete a course on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“We are truly excited that our region will play host to a national cycling event that not only showcases the natural beauty and hospitality of our communities but also inspires and ignites a passion for cycling in our residents and visitors alike,” said Martha Hooker, chair of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.

Blue Ridge Race Route for USA Cycling National Championships (Courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge) (WSLS)

On Thursday, June 15 and Friday, June 16 the road races will begin at Franklin County’s Waid Park. Riders will take on a challenging course through the Franklin County countryside.

“Franklin County is excited to showcase the natural beauty and top-notch outdoor recreation opportunities that make our community unique,” said Chairman Tim Tatum, of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. “As a county, we pride ourselves in being able to provide first-class hospitality, breathtaking views, and an authentic Franklin County experience in any situation. Hosting the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championship is a great opportunity to highlight what we have to offer to the cycling community both regionally and nationally. Franklin County looks forward to this being the first of many such prestigious events to be hosted in our community in the years to come.”

Road race long course USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships (Courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge) (WSLS)
Road Race (Long Course) USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships (Courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge) (WSLS)

The four-day event ends on Saturday, June 17, with a criterium. The race will take place in downtown Roanoke. Racers will tackle a unique, broad, five-corner course that will test all riders’ skill as they race in a tight bunch at high speeds. The races will kick off at 8:00 a.m. and run until approximately 7:00 pm.

With speeds approaching 30 mph on a technical course, this event is spectator friendly.

Criterium - USA Cycling National Championships (WSLS)

“We are honored to be planning and preparing to host the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships in Virginia’s Blue Ridge for the second year in a row and for the opportunity to showcase the vibrancy of the region. We are also grateful to the County of Botetourt for helping our region lay the foundation for this event by hosting the time trial and road races in its inaugural year of 2022,” said Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “VBR is excited to welcome these amateur athletes – and their friends and families to our area and we look forward to cheering them in a few weeks.”

The news conference featured high praise for the region’s cycling opportunities as well as the infrastructure that localities have been building in support of cycling and cycling events, such as the USA Amateur Road National races.

“You fly in and you can just see that this place is purpose-built for cycling. What this community has done to make it come to life, I recognize it didn’t happen last year. This is something that takes years and years and years of preparation, years and years of commitment. It’s amazing to see it come to life in the transformation of the reputation of this region to be a real national caliber hotbed for cycling. It’s real it’s really happening, Quirk said.

Officials said they are actively seeking volunteers to assist with the various races. They also advised drivers to beware of increased cycling activity in the region and to share the road with cyclists.

There will also be some road closures and partial closures to accommodate the events.

About the Author

John Carlin co-anchors the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSLS 10.

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