USA Cycling National Championship returns for fifth straight year
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - USA Cycling National Championships rolled into town for the fifth straight year. In Oak Ridge, nearly a hundred cyclists zipped along Melton Lake Park for their shot at the National Title in time trials. Championship Sunday competitions head to downtown Knoxville.
Thursday, the women took the course first thing in the morning and the men followed a few hours later. Each cyclist hit the road with the same goal; beat the pack to claim a spot on the podium.
Oak Ride featured in the time trials for the ladies, where Leah Thomas produced her best time at 29:38 in the 23-kilometer race.
This marked the California native’s first-ever victory in Knoxville for the time trials.
Thomas contemplated competition Thursday due to an injury she’s battling back from. However, she and her team managed to get on the course and it proved to be the best decision for Thomas.
As you might imagine, this win meant a great deal to her.
“This is one of the more special ones for sure. To be able to overcome something and to know you did everything right and you did it well and not have any regrets is not super common. So I’m just really happy,” said Thomas.
Thomas will not be on home soil later this week, because she is taking her talents across the Atlantic to compete in a few European road races.
“Tomorrow I fly to Europe and I will compete in the Giro on the 30th,” said Thomas. “Then I get to be a part of the women’s Tour De France. It’s the first time that we’re doing it. So I have a big chunk of racing to come up so it’s nice to kick it off with this win.”
For the competitors finishing out the Championships, USA Cycling continues thru the weekend in Downtown Knoxville.
The women’s final race will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday and the men will complete their 17-lap race starting at 1:15 p.m. Some downtown roads will be closed for the competition:
Knoxville police officers will be directing cars at crossing points when cyclists are not present, however. Find the full list of road closures here.
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