KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 2019 world class USA Pro and Para-Cycling Road National Championships will be held in Knoxville and Oak Ridge June 27-30.
This is the third consecutive year that Knoxville has hosted the U.S. Pro Road and Individual Time Trial Championships, which draw hundreds of elite athletes and thousands of cycling fans from across the United States. It is Knoxville’s second year as host of the U.S. Pro Criterium Championships.
This year also marks the first year Knoxville will host Para-Cycling National Championships.
The weekend includes nine races over four days in Knoxville and in Oak Ridge, which is a partner in the event.
The races require the closure of a number of streets in downtown Knoxville on Thursday, June 27, beginning at 10 a.m., and roads in East Knoxville and South Knoxville all day on Sunday, June 30.
Visit Knoxville’s webpage has complete details, schedules and maps of road closures and race courses: usacycleknox.com.
Impressive for cycling fans, this year’s competitions mark the second time that all U.S. national champions in professional road cycling will be crowned during the same weekend under the organizational umbrella of one host community.
The cycling weekend kicks off on Thursday, June 27, in Oak Ridge. The Individual Time Trial National Championships on Melton Lake Drive start at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m.
Then, on Friday, June 28, the Criterium (or “Crit”) comes to downtown Knoxville, with the start and finish at Gay Street and Cumberland Avenue.
The fast and short Crit is just a 1.1-mile loop. Athletes race for a set amount of time and then a specific number of finishing laps. The para-athletes will race for 13 laps, starting at 4:45 p.m. The women will race for a maximum of 75 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, and the men will race for a maximum of 80 minutes, starting at 7:25 p.m. Friday.
The Crit course starts at Gay Street and Cumberland Avenue. Cyclists will ride the following route: South on Gay Street and turn left onto Hill Avenue, then left onto Hall of Fame Drive, then left onto Church Avenue, then right onto State Street for one block, then left onto Clinch Avenue for one block and then left onto Gay Street for two blocks to the finish line.
Because of the short course and density of riders, streets along the route will be closed from 4 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 28. For safety reasons, neither pedestrians nor vehicles will be allowed to cross the route during the Crit.
Also, motorists parked in the Dwight Kessel Garage will not be allowed to exit onto Hill Avenue. The ramp onto James White Parkway will be inaccessible from Main Street because of Gay Street being closed there. Any vehicles parked inside the circle course will be unable to leave until the Crit concludes.
On Saturday, June 29, the Para Road Race will be held at Ned McWherter Park/James White Parkway beginning at 8 a.m. On Saturday beginning at 5 a.m., there will be closures on Riverside Drive from Laurans Avenue to James White Parkway northbound ramps. James White Parkway will close for the race beginning at 7 a.m.
The Pro Road Championships return Sunday, June 30, to follow a nearly 8-mile route in downtown Knoxville, South Knoxville and the Old City.
The Pro Road Championships start at the same point – Gay Street at Cumberland Avenue. Riders head south across the Gay Street Bridge, turn left onto Council Place and Atchley Street, then right onto Mimosa Avenue and left onto Sherrod Road to Davenport Road.
From there, they cycle left onto Cottrell Street and access James White Parkway at Anita Drive. They cross back north across the Tennessee River into downtown, turning right onto Hill Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, then left onto Harriett Tubman Street, left onto McCalla and Jackson avenues, left onto Patton Street, right onto Willow Avenue, left onto Central Street, right onto Clinch and left onto Gay Street to the finish line.
The women will race 8 laps and a total distance of 62.8 miles, starting at 9 a.m., while the men will complete 14 laps and a total distance 109.9 miles, starting at 1:15 p.m. The last rider finishes at 6:10 p.m.
Roads along the race route will be closed Sunday, June 30, from 8 a.m. until about 7 p.m.
No vehicles will be allowed onto the courses, and the Knoxville Police Department will safely direct vehicles across Sunday’s course at designated crossing points when cyclists are not present. Motorists are encouraged to be patient and await a safe officer-assisted crossing.
To view maps of the course and designated crossing points, click here.