With over 800 riders already registered, the streets of Augusta, Georgia, will be filled with high quality racing for the 2012 USA Cycling Juniors, Under-23, Elite & Paralympic Road National Championships, Wednesday, June 20 until Sunday, June 24.
Over the five days, riders will compete for national titles in the time trial, criterium and road race. Competition begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. with the short road race at Fort Gordon before all age groups contest the time trial at Strom Thurmond Dam on Thursday starting at 8 a.m. Riders are slated to compete in Downtown Augusta in the criterium beginning Friday morning at 8 a.m. before they battle in the longer road races on Saturday and Sunday at Fort Gordon.
Competition begins with the short road race contested by juniors women 10-16 and men 10-14 on Wednesday at 9 a.m. The race will be comprised of varying numbers of laps (depending on age group) around a course of nearly 11 kilometers. At the end of each lap, competitors will ascend 125 feet in less than a half of a mile.
The time trial course, which will be used on Thursday by all competitors, stretches as long as 30 kilometers and narrowly crosses the state border into South Carolina. The course features an overall elevation of 561 feet, gaining 205 feet from the start to the midway point. The course is shortened to 10 kilometers for men and women ages 10-14. The elite and U23 men and women as well as the juniors men 17-18 years of age will compete on the full 30-kilometer course, while women 15-18, men 15-16 and the para-cyclists will race against the clock on 19 kilometers of the course.
On Thursday evening, the podium ceremonies for Wednesday’s road races and Thursday’s time trials will be held at Wild Wing Café (3035 Washington Road, Augusta, Ga. 30907) at 7 p.m..
The long road race course, which will be contested on Saturday and Sunday on the Major Matthew P. Burke, M.D. Championship Course on Fort Gordon by men ages 15-elite and women 17-elite as well as various groups of para-cyclists, consists of varying amounts of laps (depending on age group) of a 23.7-kilometer loop. The course features two climbs within the first eight kilometers of each lap. The second – steeper – of those two climbs gains 194 feet in less than one mile.
Results from the Paralympic time trial on June 21 will help determine the athletes selected for the team that will compete in the time trial at the Paralympic Games in London later this summer. The team will be announced during one of the podium ceremonies on June 22.
The six-corner criterium course in Downtown Augusta will highlight the nation’s top sprinters featuring a varying amount of laps (depending on age group) around a 1.25-kilometer course with a maximum elevation gain of only three feet. The 2011 edition of the criterium was certainly memorable as officials decided to shorten the race to avoid an incoming thunderstorm. The decision proved correct as thunder cracked and rain poured just as Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif./AA Drink-Leontien Cycling Team.NL) crossed the finish line to earn the Stars-and-Stripes in that event for the second consecutive year.
The winner of the U23 men’s road race, provided he has finished in the top 10 of a UCI Nation’s Cup event will meet one of the criteria of being nominated to the American contingent contesting the UCI Road World Championships in Maastricht, Netherlands from Sept. 16-23. Similarly, the winner of the U23 men’s time trial, provided he has a top-five result in an individual time trial of at least 15 kilometers at a European time trial (UCI 2.2, 2.1, 2.HC, 2.NCup) or the Tour of California, Tour of Utah or USA Pro Cycling Challenge in 2012 is eligible for nomination to that team. In the juniors men and women’s 17-18 road race and time trial, the winners are eligible for selection to the team contesting the world championship.