International cycling competition coming to the United States for the first time
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (November 15, 2022) – After hosting two successful Para-cycling road events with U.S. Paralympics Cycling in 2021 and 2022, the Huntsville/Madison County community is thrilled to announce our third year will bring a much larger race with international prestige and teams of athletes from approximately 40 countries. Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has awarded Huntsville the Para-Cycling Road World Cup, to be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-29, 2023.
UCI is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. It is based in Aigle, Switzerland, and organizes road and track races each year leading up to the world championships in a variety of cities, primarily in Europe. The 2023 event will be the first Para-cycling Road World Cup ever held in the United States.
“We are incredibly honored UCI has selected Huntsville to host this premiere series of races,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “The Rocket City is definitely up to the challenge, and we look forward to hosting teams from all over the world.”
“On behalf of U.S. Paralympics Cycling and all of our athletes, we are incredibly excited about this historic opportunity to hold a world cup in Huntsville,” Ian Lawless, Director of U.S. Paralympics Cycling, said. “The past two seasons racing in Huntsville have shown us that the enthusiastic and supportive community makes it the ideal place to host an international event. We can’t wait to welcome the world cup tour to the U.S. and to Huntsville for the first time.”
The races will be held Friday through Monday, May 26-29 in Cummings Research Park. The various daily competition schedule will include time trials and road races with different types of cycles, including two-wheeled cycles, handcycles, two-person tandem teams, and tricycles.
“It is so much fun to watch these athletes compete and cheer them on. They are amazing and fast! You’re going to want to be there,” said Chip Cherry, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber President and CEO. “We want to thank the Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Huntsville Sports Commission for playing a big role in supporting these races that everyone will enjoy.”
The annual Cotton Row Run will still be held Monday, May 29, Memorial Day morning, in downtown Huntsville. That day’s cycling races will begin later in the morning.
“We know Memorial Day weekend is often a time when families finish the school year and begin their summer vacation, but you won’t want to miss this,” said Erin Koshut, Executive Director of Cummings Research Park. “You can still get your beach trip in, but we encourage you to relax for a few days and stay in town to cheer on the amazing athletes. We’ll have many added fun activities during race weekend. And then, you can start your vacation on Tuesday.”
The races are free – no tickets are needed. Local residents and companies are encouraged to mark the dates on the calendar and plan gatherings along the course route. The official event website is huntsvilleparaworldcup.com — more information will be provided soon, including the course routes and race times. Volunteers are also needed – please visit the site to express interest, and we’ll share updates with you soon.
Approximately 300 athletes are expected to visit Huntsville to compete, along with their team support staff and family members. Countries that typically compete in these world cup events include the United States, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, and many others. The Westin Hotel at Bridge Street will serve as the official Headquarters hotel.
Medalist Sports will once again organize the races. The team is already in discussions with the City of Huntsville and Huntsville Police Department to update race plans and logistics. We thank all the groups and organizations who are helping us! Limited sponsorships are available – please contact Erin Koshut if you are interested: [email protected]