South Knoxville road will be toughest challenge for pro cyclists

USA Cycling

(Coverage from the 2018 USA Cycling events in Knoxville.)

‘KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The 2018 USA Cycling Professional Road race will take cyclists through downtown to Sherrod Road in South Knoxville.

Alexis Ryan, a professional cyclist who will compete in the women’s race Sunday, said the steep incline of Sherrod Road will be the biggest challenge of the race.

“A climb like this, you need a lot of power to get over it,” said Ryan. “If you can’t put out the same amount of power as your competitors, you’ll probably get separated.”

Ryan and other cyclists have been in town for a few days now continuing to train for Sunday’s race. She said it will also be challenging dealing with the heat.

“I’m just adjusting to the heat. It’s so hot and humid and I’m not used to it and I don’t think a lot of people coming here are,” said Ryan.

Meanwhile, spectators who live along the road plan to watch the race for the few seconds the professional cyclists will pedal through their neighborhood.

“Cheering and screaming. It was like you were at a football game or something,” said Kathy Farmer, who plans to watch from her front porch. “I think it’s really good for Knoxville, really good for South Knoxville especially.” 

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