CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Charleston is set to host the USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships from May 14 to 19, 2024, marking the city’s foray into hosting elite cycling competitions.
Following a successful run of three international sporting events in 2023, Charleston anticipates welcoming top-tier competitors from over 40 states and territories, including Olympians, World Tour professionals, and rising stars.
The championship will feature three distinct courses: Time Trials, Criterium, and Road Race.
Charleston has secured the hosting rights for the next five years, with the winners of the Elite Men’s and Women’s Time Trial events in 2024 and 2028 earning an automatic qualification for the Olympic Games.
The Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) foresees the event attracting over 500 athletes, along with team staff, families, and cycling enthusiasts.
“For six days, Charleston will be the center of the cycling universe,” said Charleston CVB in a statement.
The city is actively recruiting volunteers to enhance the experience and showcase Charleston as a welcoming destination.
The announcement of the Pro Road Championships stirred nostalgia among longtime residents, particularly recalling the Kmart Classic of West Virginia in the 1990s.
This road event covered 500-plus miles across the state, introducing fans to 21-year-old Lance Armstrong, who emerged victorious in 1993.
“Growing up in southern West Virginia, cycling was one of my hobbies, and when the Kmart Classic came through in the 1990s, I saw and met Lance Armstrong – in my own hometown,” said Showalter.
Showalter’s encounter with Armstrong and other world-class cyclists fueled his love for the sport, a passion he continues to embrace.
As a proud Charleston resident, Showalter is eager to share the city’s cycling treasures with the world.
“West Virginia’s cycling community knows how amazing the terrain here is and how challenging and rewarding it can be. We get to share that with the world for the next five years, and we’re pumped!” he expressed.