Last-minute preps for U.S. Pro Cycling Championships - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Last-minute preps for U.S. Pro Cycling Championships

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - For the second year, Chattanooga is hosting the U.S. Pro Cycling Championships. Word-class cyclists will be racing on the streets of the Scenic City all weekend. Organizers for the event say it is an honor to host the championships again this year. They say they took some notes after last year's race and expect everything to go off without a hitch.

Last year, spectators lined the streets and a national audience watched as the Scenic City hosted the most prestigious cycling race in the country.

"Think of it in terms of a construction project. Now we're just down to the punch list," says Philip Grymes.

Philip Grymes is Executive Director of Outdoor Chattanooga and helped plan the race. He says last-minute work is being done to the course. Contract crews spent the day putting down fresh asphalt along Frazier Avenue Wednesday.     

"Even though less than half of the field that started, finished, it was still determined that the race course just wasn't hard enough," says Grymes.

This year, there are added challenges to the 16 and half mile circuit, like the steep climb on Kent Street.
 
"Kent Street, I mean it hits you in the face. If you go walk it, you're tired, in just one city block."

He also says the hairpin turn from Forest to Frazier will be exciting to watch.

"That's going to be a really exciting spot to watch. There will be a lot of action right in that one block," says Grymes.

Overall, Grymes says this year's focus is less on the course layout and more on community involvement.

"We're now, 'how can we make this more of a community event? and make this more of a Chattanooga hometown event?'"

He encourages everyone, from the hardcore cycling fan to the general spectator, to come show support for the race.

"When a city and a community can do that, other people recognize that. So whether it's, you know, 'Wow. Maybe we want to bring our convention to Chattanooga' or 'Maybe we want to bring our event to Chattanooga,' it's a great marketing piece for our city," says Grymes.

The city will be closing several streets over the weekend for the race. For a full list of road closures, click here.
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