Huntsville, Ala. (WAFF) – Para-cycling champions prepare for the first stage of the World Cup in Huntsville on Friday afternoon.
Huntsville has already made a name for itself in the cycling world having successfully hosted the Opens the past two years. The warm hospitality of the city, the delicious barbecue and perfect organization led to the high praise of the athletes. Claire Aiello, representative of the Chamber of Commerce, expressed her pleasure at the positive feedback from the athletes. “The ones we had were top notch,” Aiello said. : “Hey, you have to come to Huntsville for that. Huntsville puts on a great race, a safe race.’
For those unfamiliar with paracycling, it is a competition where athletes compete for the prestigious title of World Cup champion. For the first time, Huntsville will serve as the grand finale after stops in Italy and Belgium.
Among the athletes representing the US team is Clara Brown, a well-known champion who has already won three world titles and will emerge as the overall winner of the 2021 World Cup. Huntsville is no stranger to Brown’s talents as he has hosted the Opens before. in the last two years here. Glad to be back on familiar ground, Brown touted the benefits of knowing the course intimately, especially in time trial situations.
“It’s great to be on a familiar course, especially in a time trial situation when you’re trying to lose every bit of your speed,” Brown said. “When you really know and are familiar with the course, it’s just an advantage as a rider.”
Each prize winner is privileged to take home a piece of Huntsville as a memento. It is customary for the host city to offer unique gifts to honor the athletes’ achievements. Huntsville has chosen a special item to present to the winners – a stuffed animal of Miss Baker, the amazing monkey who traveled to space from Huntsville and now rests at the Space and Rocket Center.
Fans are invited to join the excitement and support their favorite teams. The races are held at Cummings Research Park and it is important to plan ahead for parking. Recommended entry points include Enterprise Way, Discovery Drive, Voyager Way or Jan Davis Drive, while Bradford Drive, Farrow Road and Pegasus Drive should be avoided.
Aiello also advises bicyclists to be careful on the roads through Monday and that some riders use handwheels that sit on the ground.
“As always, please stay alert and be aware of your surroundings,” Aiello said. “These athletes have come a long way to participate in Rocket City. We have contacted all road safety teams and are asking local drivers to be vigilant.”
The first round will start at 15:00 on Friday. For a complete fan guide to the Para-Cycling World Cup in Huntsville, click here Here.
Rocket City Trash Pandas hosted the event’s opening ceremony on May 23rd before the game started that night. Cycling teams were recognized as part of the event. The next day, cyclists from the region joined the riders in a formal training session at Cummings Research Park.
Reporting by WAFF’s Megan Plotka
Friday, May 26:
Individual time trials start at 15:00 on Friday and will continue until 18:00. Friday’s first race will be for women, grades 3 through 5, followed by men’s grades one through two.
At 4:30 p.m., men’s and women’s tricycle classes 1 and 2 will begin, and the day will end with women’s 1 and 2 manual classes.
An awards ceremony will be held immediately after the races.
Saturday, May 27:
Individual time trials begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and continue throughout the day, ending at 6:00 p.m.
The first races on Saturday are men’s cycling classes 3 to 5 with the awards ceremony at 11:15 a.m. Men’s cycling classes one and two start at noon. This will be followed by two women’s cycling races, from grades one to five.
After the cycling races, there will be another award ceremony.
At 4:00 p.m., another set of races will begin, which will be the men’s tandem bike, followed by the men’s three-to-five cycling classes, and the day will end with the women’s tandem bike.
Friday and Saturday’s races will be held on the Huntsville Para Individual Trials course.
Sunday, May 28:
Races on Sunday will begin at 9 a.m. with the first and second classes of men’s and women’s tricycles. At 11 o’clock in the morning, the handball competition will begin between men and women of the first and second grades, and among women from three to five.
Men’s manual classes run on three, four and five Sundays. All races on Sunday will be held on the road course.
All races on Sunday will be held on the Huntsville RR Para Course.
Monday, May 29:
Monday will be the final day of the Huntsville Road Para-Cycling World Cup, with the day kicking off with more road racing from 8am until the awards ceremony around 1pm.
At 2:00 p.m., the fourth and fifth classes will compete in men’s cycling. The men’s and women’s tandem races will begin at 4:30 p.m., and the World Cup will end with the men’s and women’s team relays at 7:00 p.m.
The final award ceremony will be held on Monday at 19:45.
The last race of Dushanbe will be held on the hand cycling relay course.
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