KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Visit Knoxville announced Tuesday afternoon that Knoxville will continue hosting some of the country’s best cyclists until 2021.
The 2019 USA Cycling Professional Road, Individual Time Trial and Criterium National Championships will be held in Knoxville June 27-30.
RELATED: Complete USA Cycling details
WATE 6 On Your Side will have live coverage of both the men’s and women’s races on June 28 and 30 on air and streaming on our news app and website, WATE.com
Organizers for this major event say it takes a year’s worth of planning to coordinate all of the race weekend’s details.
A number of groups including Visit Knoxville, the Knoxville Police Department, the Knoxville Fire Department, Special Services, city leaders and many more all meet throughout the year.
Visit Knoxville President, Kim Bumpas, says planning kicks into high gear the last 60 to 90 days as final details are marked of checklists.
“Well, when you’re running national championship type races with Olympic riders or potential Olympic riders, there’s a lot that goes into that like road closures, safety, communication. So, it really takes all the agencies to work together even when you think down to the granular detail like how Public Works will come through and make sure the potholes are cleared,” said Bumpas.
With the news that Knoxville will be hosting the championship races in years to come, Bumpas explained what it took to get this race here.
“We wanted to have a signature cycling event. So, we started talking to USA Cycling many, many years ago and we went through the process of putting in an RFP and going through the negotiations. That’s how we landed them three years ago and it’s been a really good partnership ever since,” she explained.
Each year, this championship race has an economic impact of roughly around $6-million in East Tennessee.
“It’s a really cool thing and I think what makes this event even more special is that it’s streamed worldwide and we have Olympic riders. They’re doing their own social channels, telling the story of why they should visit Knoxville. So, the reach outside of just the moment is huge,” added Bumpas.
The entire weekend of cycling kicks off Thursday, June 27, in Oak Ridge for the Individual Time Trial National Championships on Melton Lake Drive. The competition moves to Knoxville Friday night for the Criterium Race, followed by the newest addition of the Para Road Race on Saturday, all wrapping up with the Pro Road Championships on Sunday.