Some of the top American cyclists in the professional peloton united at a Team USA training camp to pre-ride portions of the road and time trial courses for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships to be held in September in Richmond, Virginia.
Twenty-four riders participated in the training camp including BMC Racing teammates Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter, and Specialized-lululemon teammates Carmen Small and Evelyn Stevens.
The organisation of the 2015 Worlds revealed the course designs for the road races, team time trials and individual time trials in the city of Richmond back in February. The 16.5km, urban road race circuit for the elite men and women climbs over the cobbled Libby Hill Park, rising up from the James River, over the 23rd Street climb and up Governor's Street.
“I think the course is great, very technical and exciting,” said Stevens. “It has a little bit of everything and I think it will showcase the best of American racing on the world stage.”
Small echoed those comments by saying, “I really, really like the course they set up for the World Championships. I think the outcome is really unpredictable about who will win. I think this course makes it really open for any rider to win.
"It is one of the most diverse and challenging courses I have ridden and by far one of the best World Championship courses I have seen. It will be super motivating to be on home ground and race, it will give us the extra motivation to win.”
The elite men's individual time trial will be a 53.1km point-to-point course that starts at King's Dominion theme park and heads toward downtown Richmond where they will have to ride up Governor's Street before the finish. Phinney previewed the course and told Cyclingnews that it was a "nice course. I had a lot of fun even if it was 50 degrees and raining."
The elite women will complete two laps of a 15.5km course that heads out to Monument Avenue and back.
The training camp also included meetings, strategy sessions and visits to the local Bellevue Elementary School and Elizabeth Davis Middle School.
“This was a terrific opportunity for Team USA members to get a feel for the courses they’ll be competing on during the UCI Road World Championships in 2015 and get acclimated to Richmond,” said Jim Miller, vice president of athletics for USA Cycling.
“We believe the courses not only will prove challenging for the world’s best cyclists, but also will be enjoyable for those watching around the course or on TV. Thank you to the entire community for welcoming us, we look forward to defending home turf next year in Richmond.”
Check out the photo gallery from the Team USA training camp on the 2015 World Championships course here.