Major cycling event moving to Chattanooga

Major cycling event moving to Chattanooga

May 2nd, 2012 by Jim Tanner in Local - Breaking News

Staff photo Scott Smith, president of the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee

Five years after the now-defunct Tour de Georgia pro cycling race made its last trip to Chattanooga, it appears that elite-level bicycle racing will be making a return to the Scenic City.

Officials with USA Cycling, Volkswagon and Outdoor Chattanooga will host a news conference today at the Volkswagen plant to announce plans to relocate the USA Cycling Pro Championships to Chattanooga in 2013. Officials with those organizations wouldn't comment on today's news conference, but the announcement was reported by WRCB-TV on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

Scott Smith, president of the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee, confirmed that he and others have been in talks with USA Cycling and others about bringing the event to Chattanooga, and he hopes the event will prove beneficial to the area.

"A championship like that will bring a lot of recognition to your city. It will be televised and all those aspects will be great," Smith said. "It's a little big of an unknown as far as hotel rooms and economic impact. We've never hosted anything like this before, so there will probably be a big learning curve."

The USA Cycling Pro Championships is one of the top professional cycling events in the United States, attracting the top American cyclists to compete in road race and time trial competition for the chance to represent the USA in the World Championships.

The event is held over Memorial Day weekend, and has been in Greenville, S.C., for the past five years.