Pro Road Champs gear up for Memorial weekend competition

Ben King will be looking to defend his Stars-and-Stripes in the pro men's road race on Memorial Day Monday.
Ben King will be looking to defend his Stars-and-Stripes in the pro men's road race on Memorial Day Monday.
Greenville, S.C. (January 18, 2011) -
The Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships will return to Greenville for the sixth consecutive year and move to Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-30. The change in schedule will help bring an even stronger, more competitive field and include Greenville resident and three-time U.S. Professional Road Race National Champion, George Hincapie. 
Licensed by USA Cycling, Inc. (Colorado Springs, CO) and organized by Medalist Sports, the event continues to build in momentum and stature. Supported by the event’s many partners, including Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS), Title Sponsor; TD Bank, Presenting Sponsor of the Road Race Championships; Duke Energy, Presenting Sponsor of the Individual Time Trial Championships; GE Energy; Hincapie Sportswear; Yakima Products; the City of Greenville; Greenville County and in partnership with the Palmetto Peloton Project and the US Handcycling Federation, the Championships are expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators from around the country to Greenville over the course of the event weekend.
According to Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner of Medalist Sports, the USA Cycling Professional Championships have continued to gain popularity with each passing year, and last year, drew nearly 50,000 spectators over the course of the event weekend. Aronhalt attributes the Championships’ popularity to several factors: level of competition and terrain, community and sponsor support and the variety of events and activities that take place over the course of the weekend. 
“There is no question that this event offers fans an opportunity to see the nation’s best professional cyclists compete at their highest level, and following the Amgen Tour of California the week prior, the riders and teams will be at their peak performance,” said Aronhalt.  “Greenville provides an ideal setting to host the Championships.”
The date change to Memorial Day weekend will also allow the return of the three-day format, permitting a vital rest day for the riders. The event weekend will kick off with the Individual Time Trial Championships presented by Duke Energy, Saturday, May 28 at CU-ICAR. Cyclists will compete against the clock on a 6.9 mile course (completed three times). The Road Race Championships presented by TD Bank will be held on Monday, May 30 with the start/finish in downtown Greenville. The 110-mile course will include three short downtown circuits, four long laps over Paris Mountain, and then three finishing downtown circuits.
"We are very pleased and grateful to see that TD Bank has expanded its commitment to sponsoring cycling events with their support for the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships," said USA Cycling Chief Executive Officer Steve Johnson. "Greenville has been an excellent host of this prestigious event for the past five years. We look forward to the move to the Memorial Day holiday weekend that will not only allow the race to better align with the international calendar but will help ensure America's top talent is on hand to contest for the Stars-and-Stripes jersey."
In addition to the dual championships, the Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital U.S. Handcycling National Criterium Championship is once again scheduled. This is the season finale event for the U.S. Handcycling Series, and will return for the third year in a row with a time trial on Saturday and the National Handcycling Criterium Championships on Monday. 
Another significant and positive change this year is that the Stars and Stripes Challenge will become a stand-alone event on Sunday, May 29, and become a multi-distance (including century) fundraising ride. Hosted in Greenville County, the Stars and stripes Challenge is expected to host amateur and celebrity riders, including retired pros, from across the country and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for its primary charitable partner, the Cancer Center of Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center. The Stars and Stripes Challenge is organized by the Palmetto Peloton Project (P3), which promotes the advancement of cancer research through fundraising fitness events. Approximately 800 riders from across the United States participated in last year’s Stars and Stripes Challenge, and to date, the event has raised more than $500,000 for cancer research.
“GHS is pleased to serve as title sponsor of the USA Cycling Professional Championships for a sixth year and to be a recipient of funds from the Palmetto Peloton Project,” said Mike Riordan, GHS president and CEO. “We are grateful to P3’s gift to cancer research because it not only impacts the people in our community but people across the country and around the world. In addition, P3 events offer our community the opportunity to get fit and be active, which reinforces our commitment to total health.”
A new addition this year, cycling enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite riders at a free Saturday evening event sponsored by Presenting Sponsor TD Bank. The Main Street event, benefiting GHS’ Cancer Center, will feature live entertainment, and several of the top teams and riders will display their team cars and be available for autographs and photo sessions.
“TD Bank is proud to partner with Greenville Hospital System to support this premier event and secure its return to the Upstate for its sixth year,” said Lynn Harton, head of regional commercial banking south, TD Bank.  “Supporting the communities where we live and work has long been one of TD Bank's core values, in addition to supporting programs that promote and celebrate both diversity and a better environment.  The USA Cycling National Championships is a perfect example of this philosophy, and we are thrilled to be a part of this great event that puts our city in the spotlight of the world of cycling."
With the championships only a few months away, the excitement is already building and organizers expect this year’s event to be the largest ever. Route maps and race details can be found on the event website, which also offers online registration for volunteers. Fans are encouraged to visit to stay up-to-date on race news and events and can also follow the event on Facebook at and Twitter at A schedule of events is provided on the following page.






Individual Time Trial Championships presented by Duke Energy
Start Time: 11:30 a.m.
Start/Finish Line: CU-ICAR
Estimated Finish Time: 1:30 p.m. (awards following)
Ancillary Events
Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital US Handcycling Series, Individual Time Trial
Start Time:  8:30 a.m.
Start/Finish Line: CU-ICAR
Stars and Stripes Challenge, Individual Time Trial
Start Time:  9:30 a.m.
Start/Finish Line:  CU-ICAR
Ancillary Events
Stars and Stripes Challenge (Century, fundraising ride)
Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
Location:  Greenville County

Road Race Championships presented by TD Bank

Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Start/Finish Line: Downtown Greenville
Estimated Finish Time: 3:00 p.m. (awards following)
Ancillary Events
Stars and Stripes Challenge, 'Ride Like The Pros' (top fundraisers)
Start Time:  7:30 a.m.
Start/Finish Line:  Downtown Greenville
Family Fun Ride
Start Time:  10:00 a.m.
Location:  Cleveland Park
Greenville Hospital System Health & Wellness Expo
Start Time:  11:00 a.m. (open until 5:00 p.m.)
Location:  Downtown Greenville
Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital US Handcycling National Criterium Championship
Start Time:  1:30 p.m.
Location:  Downtown Greenville
Duke Energy Kids’ Races
Start Time:  2:30 p.m.
Location:  Downtown Greenville

This Article Published January 18, 2011 For more information contact: