Knoxville streets to close for USA Cycling’s Pro Road and Criterium Championships

The 2018 USA Cycling Professional Road, Individual Time Trial and Criterium National Championships will be in Knoxville and Oak Ridge the weekend of June 21-24.

 

The world-class cycling events will draw hundreds of elite athletes and thousands of cycling fans from across the U.S. The races will require closure of a number of streets in downtown Knoxville on Friday evening, June 22, and roads in downtown, East Knoxville and South Knoxville all day on Sunday, June 24.

 

Visit Knoxville’s webpage has complete details, schedules and maps of road closures and race courses: https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/.

 

This is the second consecutive year that the Knoxville area has hosted the U.S. Pro Road and Individual Time Trial Championships – and the first year as host of the U.S. Pro Criterium.

 

More significantly for cycling fans, this year’s competitions mark the first time that all U.S. national champions in professional road cycling will be crowned during the same weekend under the organizational umbrella of one host community.

 

The cycling weekend kicks off on Thursday, June 21, in Oak Ridge. The Individual Time Trial National Championships on Melton Lake Drive kick off at 9:15 a.m. and conclude at 3:36 p.m.

 

Then, on Friday, June 22, the Criterium (or “Crit”) comes to Knoxville, with the start and finish at Gay Street and Cumberland Avenue.

 

The Criterium is fast, furious and short – just a 1.1-mile loop. Athletes will race for a set amount of time and then a specific number of finishing laps. The women will race for a maximum of 75 minutes, starting at 6:15 p.m. Friday, and the men will race for a maximum of 90 minutes, starting at 7:45 p.m. Friday. The last rider finishes at 9:15 p.m.

 

The Crit course starts at Gay Street and Cumberland. Cyclists will ride south on Gay and turn left onto Hill Avenue, then left into Hall of Fame Drive, then left onto Church Avenue, then right onto State Street for one block, then left into Clinch Avenue for one block, the left onto Gay Street for two blocks to the finish line.

 

Because of the short course and density of riders, the streets along the route will be closed from 5:15 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Friday. For safety reasons, neither pedestrians nor vehicles will be allowed to cross the route during the Criterium.

 

This means, for example, that motorists parked in the Dwight Kessel Garage will not be allowed to exit onto Hill. The ramp onto James White Parkway will be inaccessible from Main Street, because of Gay Street being closed there. And any vehicles parked inside the circle course will be unable to leave until the Crit concludes.

 

There are no racing events on Saturday, June 23.

 

Then, on Sunday, June 24, the Pro Road Championships return, following an almost 8-mile route that’s similar to one used last summer.

 

The Pro Road Championships start at the same point – Gay at Cumberland. Riders head south across the Gay Street Bridge, turn left onto Council Place and Atchley Street, then right onto Mimosa Avenue, left onto Sherrod Road to Davenport Road.

 

From there, they cycle left onto Cottrell Street and access James White Parkway at Anita Drive. They cross back north across the Tennessee River into downtown, turning right onto Hill and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, then left onto Harriett Tubman Street, left onto McCalla and Jackson avenues, left onto Patton Street, right onto Willow Avenue, left onto Central Street, right onto Clinch and left onto Gay to the finish line.

 

The women will race 8 laps and a total distance of 62.8 miles, starting at 9 a.m., while the men will complete 14 laps and a total distance 109.9 miles, starting at 1:15 p.m. The last rider finished at 5:45 p.m. Sunday.

 

Roads along the race route will be closed from 8 a.m. until about 6:15 p.m. Sunday, June 24.

 

No vehicles will be allowed onto the courses, but the Knoxville Police Department will safely direct vehicles across Sunday’s course at designated crossing points when cyclists are not present. Motorists are asked to be patient and await a safe officer-assisted crossing.

 

To view maps of the course and designated crossing points, visit https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/event-info/road-closures-maps/.

 

Questions about logistics? Please call Visit Knoxville at 865-523-7263.

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