Sights look forward for future USA Cycling Pro National Champion - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sights look forward for future USA Cycling Pro National Championships

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - One hundred and 45 men and women hit the Scenic City streets on two wheels Monday for all one goal: To be named the best cyclist in the country.

But ultimately there would only be two winners: Megan Guarnier of New York and Matthew Bushe of Wisconsin.

Race officials estimate 25,000 people came out to watch the spectacle. Forty percent of those coming from out of town. It's about the same compared to last year's turnout which raked in $6 million for Chattanooga.

Micah Rice, Vice President of National Events for USA Cycling, says Chattanooga has been a top notch host city for the last three years offering a challenging course for participants.

“The course itself is fantastic. You have the combination of Lookout Mountain along with inner city loops, the Kent Street Hill, it's really worked out great. It's beautiful along here on Market Street and going over the river, it's just fantastic,” Rice said.

Now that the final participants have pedaled across the finish and the 2015 event has come to a close, they city's contract with the event has officially expired. Now, many are focused on the future to next year's race on possibly a new course.

Rice says a change of scenery is necessary for a number of reasons.

“So that different participants and spectators don't have to fly across the country for the same race over and over. As you can imagine, our professional national championships for USA Cycling are a pretty hot commodity,” he added.

Race officials haven't officially announced where the USA Cycling Pro National Championships will be held the next two years but they tell Channel 3 Chattanooga did take part in the bidding process and is one of the top 3 finalists.

“We have made our decision and everyone is going to have to wait a couple more days to find out,” Rice said.

If Chattanooga isn't named the next host city, that's okay. Race officials tell me the race can still come back in the future.
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