Riders take on Chattanooga and US Cycling Championships - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Riders take on Chattanooga and US Cycling Championships

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Top cyclists from across the country are making their way to the Tennessee Valley this weekend all for a chance to wear the stars and stripes jersey.

Obviously the US Cycling National Championships will bring out the stars of today but it's also bringing out the stars of tomorrow. Some of the top development teams in the nation including Team Bontrager led by a fellow Tennessean. A development team can be compared to AAA Baseball, they're knocking on the door of the big leagues and in some cases they're already knocking it down.

The carrot is dangling ahead of team Bontrager's Nate Brown a Memphis native as he gets set for his biggest race of the season.

"This is huge especially if you win, you get to wear the stars and stripes all year and next year," said Brown.

In other sports the coveted prize may be a trophy, a crystal football, a ring but in cycling it's a priceless jersey. Wherever you ride the stars and stripes will be on showcase.

"And teams love that, they love national champions," said Brown.

For a member of Bontrager, one of the nations best development teams, that jersey also stands for a big time contract.

They've set the bar high for this weekends national championship and why not they're coming off a stellar showing at the Tour of California where teammate Lawson Craddock finished eighth.

Craddock said, "Cycling is all about momentum. You get one good result and the results kind of follow after that."

The team sampled the road course today which features four trips up Lookout Mountain, nothing they can't handle but they're calling that 1,000 foot climb the difference maker.

Brown said, "Four times up it, the fourth time is going to be brutal. The race will blow to shreds it's going to be a small group coming to the finish and the strong man will win this year."

It won't be browns first test with Lookout Mountain, he raced here dozens of times growing up. So familiar with the area, he's been the teams tour guide as they made it a point to arrive a week early. The goal was to relax and take in all the Scenic City has to offer.

Craddock said, "We've had a lot of fun, food is great. The overall town has a really light mood and it's easy to kick back and relax here."

"Some of my best friends are from here. I love Chattanooga, I think it's one of the best cities in Tennessee. I love to come move and live here one day," said Brown.

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