OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dozens of professional cyclists lined up on Thursday for the individual USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships Timed Trials in Oak Ridge.

One of the teams in the competition, including cyclist Zach Gregg, is racing for a cause much bigger than the championships: Veterans. Gregg’s family drove from Roanoke, Va., to cheer him on at Thursday’s the timed trials.

“We’re extremely happy that he’s here again. He placed 4th last year. So we’d love to see him on the podium this year. And several of his teammates last year were five out of the top 10 so they did really really well,” said Misty Gregg, Zach’s mom.

Thursday’s competition kicked off with individual timed trials. the male competitors cycled 34.9 kilometers, while the female competitors cycled 23.2 kilometers. In each race he competes in, Zach Gregg is not only riding for himself and his teammates but for a higher cause.

“After college, he played lacrosse in college, and then after college, he started riding bikes and got on the Project Echelon. So they race for veterans, and they have a nonprofit component. So he’s been racing probably six or seven years,” Misty Gregg said.

Spectators braced the rain to cheer on these cyclists. Jenny Crowley says she’s been to the Pro Race before, but never the Time Trials here in Oak Ridge.

“We are out here to support USA Cycling, the time trials,” Crowley explained. “Yeah, we’re really really excited. We watch Tour de France on TV listen to cycling podcasts and are really excited that it’s here in Knoxville and we can see some cycling.”

Zach Gregg finished the course in 44 minutes and 21 seconds, just under four minutes behind first place, earning him 14th place. Project Echelon teammates Tyler Stites, Patrick Welch, Steven Vogel, Richard Arnopol and William Hardin finished in 9th, 15th, 20th, 22nd and 25th places, respectively. Misty Gregg said she’s proud of her son and the work he’s put in to get here.

“I mean it’s incredible. Incredible that he’s at pro nationals. It’s a wonderful feeling and a little nerve-racking with the rain. But now that it’s stopped, it’s better.”

The winner of the Time Trials for the women was Chloe Dyger, of Brownsburg with a time of 31:06:65. The winner of the men’s race was Brandon McNulty, of Pheonix, with a time of 40:39:22. Click here for the full list.