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Women's pro championships to debut in Chattanooga, coinciding with men's races
USA Cycling has announced the proposed course routes 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 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday 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.
"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 Exergy TWENTY16 professional 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 title at its new venue in Chattanooga," said defending men's road race champion Timmy Duggan (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). "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 men's and women's time trial championships, to contested on Saturday, May 25, 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 men's and women's road championships, to be contested on Monday, May 27, will showcase both downtown Chattanooga along with a tough climb up Lookout Mountain. The women's championship will cover 63.7 miles (102.5 km), while the men's championship will be decided over 102.7 miles (165.3 km).
The road races will begin with a 5.1-mile start circuit in downtown Chattanooga; one circuit for the women and three for the men. The riders will then face a 14.1 mile long loop which takes the pelotons south out of downtown to the Lookout Mountain ascent and then loop back into downtown Chattanooga, featuring 750 feet of climbing each lap. The men will complete five laps of the long circuit, while the women will do three laps. The 5.1-mile opening circuit will again be used for the finish of each race with both the men and women covering the circuit three times at their race conclusions. 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.
Also announced at the press conference was a charity ride benefiting the Children's Hospital of Erlanger Health Systems to take place Saturday morning prior to the time trials. It is open to riders of all ages and abilities with 15, 30, and 60-mile options.
For more information on the 2013 professional championships, visit the event website.