Virginia’s Blue Ridge will host national mountain bike championships

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is set to host the 2025 and 2026 USA Cycling Endurance Mountain Bike National Championships, according to an announcement Monday by VBR. (Click here for information about the 2024 event.)

VBR says the event will be a collaboration between the city of Roanoke, Roanoke County and Hollins University, with seven days of racing events and 1,500 athletes competing.

“Then you’ll have their families, their coaches, their support staff, so it’ll be pretty significant,” said Brendan Quirk, USA Cycling’s president and CEO.

“We’re still buzzing from the experience of hosting the 2022 and 2023 Amateur Road National Championships there,” said Quirk. “And now, with this exciting announcement of the Endurance Mountain Biking Championships, it’s evident why Virginia’s Blue Ridge is one of America’s foremost cycling destinations.”

The cyclists will compete through Explore Park, Elmwood Park and Carvins Cove, among other places.

“It’s just amazing terrain, beautiful trails, really great downtown,” said Quirk.

“We are thrilled that Virginia’s Blue Ridge has been selected as host destination for the USA Cycling Endurance Mountain Bike Championships in 2025 and 2026. This prestigious event will help build on our already shining reputation as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital,” said Landon Howard, president of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

“Elmwood Park is a true gem in the heart of Roanoke, offering a perfect blend of central location, beautiful green spaces, and modern facilities,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea. “Our careful planning ensures minimal traffic impacts, so both the cycling event and downtown Roanoke remain easily accessible for residents and visitors. This event highlights our commitment to making outdoor recreation a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

“We are thrilled to host a national cycling event at Explore Park,” said Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Phil North. “This event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our unique outdoor amenities and the warm hospitality of our community.”

Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation, said, “With an estimated $2.2 million in direct visitor spending, this event will not only highlight our beautiful trails and vibrant community, but also contribute significantly to our local economy. We are excited to welcome USA Cycling and its athletes, from enthusiasts to professionals, for this historic week-long championship.”

The city is already working to address traffic concerns.

“We want to make it as convenient not only for the participants and the families, but also the citizens here to get out and support it hope they can come out and be a part of this,” said Roanoke City Mayor, Sherman Lea.

Downtown Roanoke is also preparing for next year as the cyclists will spend most of their time there.

“This is going to be an economic stimulus for us,” said Mayor Lea.

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Publish date : 2024-06-24 11:15:00

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