KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Top cyclists from across the country will soon zip through parts of East Tennessee, as the city of Knoxville welcomes a jam-packed four days filled with speed, strength, endurance, and strategy for the 2019 world class USA Pro and Para-Cycling Road National Championships.
With both the Criterium Race on Thursday and the Sunday Road Race both being downtown, Visit Knoxville is expecting a $5-6 million boost to the local economy after nearly 15,000 people pack downtown.
“It brings a lot of people from out of town,” said Chad Culver with Visit Knoxville’s Sports Commission. “We have people every year who come from Colorado and California who come to this event so it’s neat to see the third year now the same people coming over and over.”
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 Crit Race, followed by the newest addition of the Para Road Race on Saturday, all wrapping up with the Pro Road Championships on Sunday.
“It’s a national championship event, so you have the top athletes in the country competing on the streets of Knoxville. You don’t do that too many places, and for us to be able to host the three biggest national championships in the same weekend in one destination, that’s never been done before,” said Culver. “Seeing it live and seeing them come by you and feeling the wind off the bikes of a guy on a bike to just feel him come by and pass you on the speeds they do… I mean last year on Sherrod alone they were going 50-60 mph on a bike. It kind of makes cycling fans out of people.”
Complete details about the USA Cycling events in Knoxville are here.