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Huntsville lands Para-Cycling Road World Cup; first in US

HUNTSVILLE – After hosting two successful events with U.S. Paralympics Cycling in 2021 and 2022, Huntsville has gone international.

And, as is the area’s tradition, it will be a first for the United States.

Union Cycliste Internationale has awarded Huntsville the 2023 Para-Cycling Road World Cup – the first Para-cycling Road World Cup ever held in the United States.

The international competition will bring teams from approximately 40 countries. It is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend – May 26-29, 2023.

“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.”

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.

“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 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.

Approximately 300 athletes are expected to visit Huntsville to compete, along with their team support staff and family members. Among the countries that typically compete in the world cup events are the United States, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, and Portugal.

“It is so much fun to watch these athletes compete and cheer them on,” said Chip Cherry, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber President and CEO. “They are amazing and fast! You’re going to want to be there.

“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 be May 29, Memorial Day morning, in downtown
Huntsville and the 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. For upcoming information and to volunteer, visit huntsvilleparaworldcup.com.

Limited sponsorships are available; contact Erin Koshut at [email protected]

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