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Get ready to race! UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup makes US debut in Huntsville

Published on May 22, 2023

Big things are happening this week in Cummings Research Park (CRP). Namely, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Para-cycling Road World Cup is landing in the U.S. for the first time right here in Huntsville!

Man in wheelchairs speaks into mic with other officials at news conference
Team USA athlete Ryan Pinney speaks to media during a news conference kicking off the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Huntsville.

Mayor Tommy Battle, CRP Executive Director Erin Koshut, U.S. Paracycling Director Ian Lawless and athletes from around the world gathered on Monday, May 22, to kick off the event, expected to be the largest World Cup ever held outside of Europe. Slated for May 26-29, the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup will bring 350 athletes from 40 countries to Huntsville for several days of races and other activities for visitors and our community.

“It is with great pride that we host UCI in Huntsville after holding two successful Para-cycling road events with U.S. Paralympics in 2021 and 2022,” Mayor Battle said. “If you’re in town this Memorial Day weekend, please come out to cheer the athletes on. We want to give everyone a big Rocket City welcome.”

Koshut said the World Cup in Huntsville will be three times larger than ones in years past, and the first with international flavor.

“These athletes have heard about our races and they’re excited to compete here,” Koshut said. “For many, it’s their first time to visit the U.S. and we’re following some very competitive World Cups in Italy and Belgium held over the last month. There’s a lot at stake – this is the World Cup finale for 2023 and you will see some high-stakes competition, including from Team USA!”

Fan information

The races will take place in CRP and are free for spectators. No tickets necessary! Citizens are encouraged to invite friends and family members, pack a cooler, bring chairs and a blanket, and come watch the races along the outside ring of Explorer Boulevard, the loop of CRP West.

Race times are as follows:

Friday, May 26

Individual Time Trials

Racing: 3-7:30 p.m.

Awards: 6-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 27

Individual Time Trials

Racing: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Awards: 3-3:45 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.

Sunday, May 28

Road Races

Racing: 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Awards: 1:30-1:45 p.m. and 7:45-8:30 p.m.

Monday, May 29

Road Races

Racing: 8 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Awards: 1-1:45 p.m. and 7:45-8:30 p.m.

Fireworks: 8:30 p.m.

For a full list of race week activities, maps and other information related to the World Cup, visit huntsvilleparaworldcup.com.

Traffic safety

With so many Para-cyclists in Huntsville, residents should expect to see them training and preparing to compete on local roads.

Claire Aiello, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, said some cyclists will be on two-wheeled bikes and tall tricycles, while others will be on handcycles that are very low to the ground.

“Please be alert and aware of your surroundings, as always,” she said. “These athletes have come a long way to compete in the Rocket City. We’ve communicated with all teams to practice safety on the roads, and we ask our local drivers to be cautious as well.”

Starting Wednesday, May 24, part of Explorer Boulevard will be closed for the buildout of the start/finish area from Moquin Drive to Farrow Road near Columbia High School.

CLICK HERE for a complete fan guide for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup. To show your support on social media, please use the hashtags #Huntsville2023 and #Paracycling.

RELATED: Huntsville Transit invites Para-cycling spectators to get on the bus