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New home for USA Cycling Professional Road Championships?

By:
Neil Browne
Published:
January 31, 2012, 22:47 GMT,
Updated:
January 31, 2012, 22:48 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Big crowds in downtwon Greenville for the US Pro road race.

Big crowds in downtwon Greenville for the US Pro road race.

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Discussions on-going with several new cities

For the past seven years, the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships have called Greenville, South Carolina home. However that might change.

2012 is the last year Greenville has committed to hosting the championships. Cyclingnews spoke to Managing Partner of Medalist Sports, Chris Aronhalt, regarding the possibility of a venue change for the championships.

"The Request For Proposal (RFP) has been out from USA Cycling for over nine months now and I know they have had on-going discussions with several cities and partner sponsors that want to be part of the event," said Aronhalt.

"Greenville has been considered, but obviously with the para-cycling world championships [awarded to Greenville for 2014] I'm sure there's a question should they continue with both or stay focused on para-cycling."

"As of now Greenville has not said no, we're not going to bid on this, but they haven't submitted a bid."

The professional road race national championships have only had two host cities in its history: Philadelphia and Greenville. Would it be good for the sport to hold the championships in a different city?

"I do," said Aronhalt. "I'm one of the trustees of USA Cycling and certainly it means a lot having it here (Greenville) going into our seventh year. But based on the membership of USA Cycling and the growth of the sport geographically, to expose other parts of the country to this event and vice versa is a good thing."

"It takes a lot to host nationals in terms of partnerships, the terrain and financial support. I know there are other cities that are in interested and in discussions with USA Cycling."

Greenville resident George Hincapie is still undecided if this national professional championships would be his last. When asked if a win in his home city would motivate him to continue into the 2013 season, the BMC rider didn't give any indication that it would.

"I don't think that would have any part of it," said Hincapie. "It mainly depends on if my family can handle me being gone another year. Also my passion and commitment to the sport has to remain just as it is now. If I start wavering and I start thinking of other things it will be time to stop."

"That's why I'm not making any decisions right now. I think it will come to me in the next few months, obviously before the end of the year, on what I might be doing."

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