Downtown Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain will be part of the course for the 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships and the U.S. Handcycling Criterium National Championships, to be held May 25-27. The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday morning at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Plant.
This is the first year that Chattanooga will play host to the event that will be an annual occurrence in the city through 2015, with Volkswagen of America, Inc.
as the title sponsor.
“As the title sponsor of the USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships, we are proud to be part of one of the most visible cycling events in the country and to bring it to the hometown of our Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant,” said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “Our alignment with USA Cycling demonstrates that our environmental sustainability extends beyond our fuel-efficient vehicles and company practices.”
In addition, USA Cycling announced Erlanger Health Systems as the official hospital and event medical services provider of the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Time Trial & Road Race National Championships.
An integral part of the relationship between Erlanger and USA Cycling will be the charity bike ride that will he held prior to the men’s and women’s time trial on Saturday, May 25, at Enterprise South Industrial Park, the site of the time trials later that day. The charity ride, which will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, will be open to riders of all ages and abilities with 15, 30, and 60-mile options.
“The city of Chattanooga and the surrounding region provide USA Cycling’s Pro Road and TT National Championships with ideal competitive terrain in addition to a spirited history of cycling and exceptional community and corporate support”, said USA Cycling President & CEO Steve Johnson. “We are looking forward to exciting racing in Chattanooga over the next three years and are very proud to have Volkswagen as our title sponsor for this spectacular event.”
New for the 2013 event will be the inaugural Women’s Professional Road Race and Time Trial National Championships that will be held in Chattanooga to coincide with the men’s event.
“We are extremely excited to race the USA Cycling Pro Road and Time Trial National Championships this year in Chattanooga,” said Nicola Cranmer, general manager of the women’s ExergyTWENTY16 UCI Professional Cycling Team. “It’s an important step for women's racing to be showcased alongside the top U.S. male athletes. As a team owner, the added exposure the pro championship event will bring to our partners through the media that is set in place is critical to the growth of women's cycling. I also welcome the opportunity to spend time in a city that incorporates cycling into the community. Chattanooga’s economical and sustainable bike transit program makes it a perfect host for the pro championships.”
"I'm really looking forward to defending my USA Cycling Pro Road Championship title at its new venue in Chattanooga,” said defending men’s road race champion Timmy Duggan of the Saxo-Tinkoff Pro Cycling Team. “A world class cycling event like this is a great opportunity for the city to showcase its culture, people, and cycling terrain on the world stage, and I will be focused on bringing my best performance to town at the end of May!"
The time trial course will be held adjacent to the Volkswagen factory and features rolling terrain with few turns. Riders will complete two out-and-back runs of 9.5 miles each for a total of 19 miles. The course layout has four turnarounds and will allow spectators to see each rider multiple times.
The road races will showcase both downtown Chattanooga along with the tough climb up Lookout Mountain. The men’s and women’s races will begin with a 5.1-mile start circuit; one circuit for the women and three for the men. The same circuit will be used for the finish of each race. The course then takes the riders on a relatively flat run out Broad Street to begin the climb up Ochs Highway. The climb up Ochs Highway is approximately two miles and climbs 750 feet each lap. The race will use Sanders Road to cross Ochs Highway to Scenic Highway, and return to downtown via Broad Street. Men will complete five laps up the climb, while the women will do three laps. The “long lap” is 14.4 miles in distance. The men and women will complete the start/finish circuits each lap of the “long lap” and will finish the race with three 5.1-mile circuits each. The course will cross the Market Street and Veterans Bridge each lap, and spectators will see the riders cross through the start/finish line 11 times during the men’s race and seven times during the women’s race.
"We are so proud to partner with Volkswagen to host the U.S. professional cycling community in Chattanooga," said John Karr, chairman of the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga. "With a vibrant downtown area surrounded by mountains, our course should challenge the competitors and captivate their fans."