USA Cycling Championships come to close; one more year left in contract
Chattanooga is basking in the afterglow of another successful USA Cycling Championship which brought in thousands to the area. There's just one more year in the 3-year contract in which Chattanooga plays host to the event. Here's a look at the future of the USA Pro race and it's relationship with the scenic city.
Monday, May 26th 2014, 9:49 pm EDT
Thousands flocked the sidelines waiting for the winner to cross the finish line.
"Definitely a great crowd just by looking at it, definitely better than last year," said Tony Leko, Events Director.
Leko says the third and final year of their contract should bring event more spectators as the community continues to embrace it.
"The city has completely embraced it, everybody down to the Mayor’s office and the locals, local businesses, they've been great, they've loved it, we've loved it too," said Leko.
Leko says there is always room for improvement though when it comes to next year’s race.
"We want to take a step forward, make it bigger, better and a little more enjoyable. We will definitely take back whatever feedback we get this year, I want to hear all of the negative feedback," said Leko.
The way they want to do that?
"We really want to get the locals involved, obviously we bring our national sponsors with us, but we want to get that local impact and that hometown feel when we come to an event," said Leko.
But the big question is what's going to happen after the 3-year contract is up? Leko says it could lead to an extension.
"We love it out here; we'd love to come back. Next year is year three of the three year agreement that we originally had. As we do for most of our events we will put out an RFP, sometimes we try to extend it without one, But it's just kind of one of those where we just see where it goes," said Leko.
So far Chattanooga has everything they're looking for.
"At the end of the day we have to have a course and we have to have a challenging course, a championship worthy course. Luckily Chattanooga has a history of lookout mountain and a history of cycling events, so we knew they already had a course in place, so it was a perfect fit," said Leko.
Local fans are keeping their fingers crossed that the decision sways in their favor.
"I do- I hope to be able to come back for years to come. I'll be here next year," said Josh Ashe.
We’re told they will decide whether or not to extend the contract within the next year.
They say they don't have any other locations in mind at the moment if Chattanooga doesn't work out.