Pro Road Nationals return to Chattanooga this weekend


Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 21, 2014) – The 2014 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships return to Chattanooga, May 24-26, for the second year of a three-year run.

The women's road race podium (from left): second place Lauren Hall; race winner Jade Wilcoxson; third place Alison Powers
The 2013 women's road race podium (from left): second place Lauren Hall; race winner Jade Wilcoxson; third place Alison Powers. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)
The event will crown men's and women's national champions in both the road race and time trial. Last year, Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo./Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Specialized-Lululemon) won the men's and women's time trials to earn the Stars-and-Stripes jersey, while Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Freddie Rodriguez (Berkeley, Calif./Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) each topped their respective podiums in the road race. All four riders are back in Chattanooga this weekend to defend their titles.

Plus, there is an added incentive...

This year, the winners of the men’s and women’s road races on Monday, May 26, will each receive a one-year loan of a 2015 Volkswagen GTI. The all-new seventh generation GTI will be available for sale in the U.S. this summer, featuring a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and an available roof rack for cyclists.

The time trial course will once again be held adjacent to the Volkswagen factory and feature rolling terrain with few turns. Riders will complete two out-and-back runs of 9.5 miles each for a total of 19 miles. The course layout has four turnarounds which will allow spectators to see each rider multiple times.
Tom Zirbel won the men's time trial with a time of 38:16.04
Tom Zirbel won the 2013 men's time trial with a time of 38:16.04. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)

A challenging new section has been added to the road race course, but downtown Chattanooga and the tough climb up Lookout Mountain will be featured prominently as they were in 2013. The men’s and women’s races will begin with a 5.1-mile start circuit -- three circuits for the women and four for the men. The course then takes the riders on a relatively flat run out Broad Street to begin the climb up Ochs Highway. The ascent up Ochs Highway is approximately 2.75 miles and climbs over 1100 feet each lap. The race will pass through Lookout Mountain to Scenic Highway, and return to downtown via Broad Street. Men will complete four laps up the climb, while the women will do two laps. The “long lap” is 16.5 miles in distance.
New for the race this year is the “wall” in North Chattanooga up Kent Street, a one-block section of road with grades of up to 20 percent. The men and women will face this challenge on each of the “long laps” as well as on three shorter 5.4-mile finishing circuits. The course will cross the Market Street Bridge and Veterans Bridge each lap, and spectators will see the riders cross through the start/finish line 11 times during the men’s race and eight times during the women’s race. 

Carmen Small gets aero on her way to the national title
Carmen Small gets aero on her way to the national title at last year's time trial. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)
The top three women in last year's time trial and road races are all returning to Chattanooga in search of more hardware. In the time trial, Small, the reigning world championship bronze medalist, will be challenged by 2013 silver medalist Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) and 2013 bronze medalist Allison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./UnitedHealthcare). Also figuring to be in the mix in the race against the clock is 2012 Olympian and 2012 world championship silver medalist Evelyn Stevens (Dennis, Mass./Specialized-lululemon).

In the women's road race, Wilcoxson and teammate Lauren Hall (Dolores, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished in the top two spots last year and will again make a formidable duo on the streets of Chattanooga. Other top competitors include Powers, defending Queen of the Mountain Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./UnitedHealthcare), who was leading last year's race until a flat tire in the final kilometers derailed her chances, 2013 Most Courageous Rider Taylor Wiles (Fairfax, Calif./Specialized-lululemon), McGrath, Allison Tetrick (Mill Valley, Calif./TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) and 2013 world championship team members Stevens, Andrea Dvorak (Crozet, Va./Team TIBCO-To the Top) and Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Boels Dolmans Cycling Team).


Taylor Phinney powers through the streets of Florence during the time trial at the 2013 Road World Championships
2012 world time trial silver medalist Taylor Phinney figures to be a factor in both men's races in Chattanooga. (photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Zirbel will face a stiff challenge in defending his time trial title from 2010 national champion and 2012 world silver medalist Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./BMC Racing Team), who did not participate in last year's race. Also figuring to be near the top of the standings is Joey Rosskopf (Athens, Ga./Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) who is fresh off a silver medal at the Pan American Continental Championships.

Phinney should also challenge defending road race champ Rodriguez on Monday. Other riders who could don the Stars-and-Stripes jersey include defending bronze medalist Kiel Reijnen (Boulder, Colo./UnitedHealthcare), Tom Danielson (Tucson, Ariz.), Ben King (North Garden, Va.) and 2013 world championship team members Matthew Busche (Brevard, N.C./Trek Factory Racing), Peter Stetina (Santa Rosa, Calif./BMC Racing Team) and Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Sharp).


The racing begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with the U.S. Paralympics Para-cycling Time Trial. The elite women are slated to contest the 30.9-kilometer time trial beginning at 11 a.m., with the elite men starting immediately after the women's race.
The women's road race opens Monday's racing at 9 a.m., when they'll begin their 104-kilometer contest. The USA Cycling Handcycling National Criterium Championship is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. The 165-kilometer pro men's road race, which begins at 1:30 p.m., caps the event.


Tour Tracker®
Cycling fans can follow the entire event live virtually anywhere in the world through the Tour Tracker application. The coverage will include a live video stream from the road race online and an app that is available for iOS and Android devices. Tour Tracker will also provide fans with streaming video of the events from several different vantage points. The primary live view will update viewers on the race situation, with position and time gaps between the breakaway, chase and peloton. This will also offer a GPS map and profile of the course and a text play-by-play. Additionally, the viewer can see photos and videos from the day's events as well as final results, king/queen of the mountain and most courageous rider standings. The Tour Tracker app can be downloaded in the App Store or from our event webpage at the following links (iTunes) (Android) (web).


On Monday, May 26, at 3 p.m., there will be the UnitedHealthcare Kids Race. Free and open to children aged 3-12, staging begins at the start/finish line of the road races at 2:30 p.m.

For updated news, course maps, a schedule of events, and more visit the 2014 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships event page. You can also follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #USPro for information on the races as well as ancillary events in Chattanooga.

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This Article Updated May 24, 2014 @ 01:29 PM For more information contact: