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Para-cycling world championships returning to Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE – What goes around, comes around.

And, in this case, the world’s best para-cyclists will be going around Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park when they come around in 2026.

The Rocket City will host the 2026 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, it was announced today by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and U.S. Paralympics Cycling.

The annual event will bring approximately 600 of the world’s top athletes, along with their support staff and families, to Huntsville over the 2026 Labor Day weekend – Sept. 4-7. This is only the second time the world championships have been held in the United States – the first time was 2014 in Greenville, S.C.

Huntsville hosted the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup round with 350 athletes from 40 countries over the Memorial Day holiday. It was the third UCI World Cup round of the season preparing the cyclists for this year’s UCI Para-cycling World Championships currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland, through Aug. 13.

“After a fantastic round of the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, I am delighted that Huntsville will again welcome the world’s best para-cyclists in 2026, this time for their leading annual event on the road,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “This is a welcome return to the United States, just two years before the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.”

(Huntsville/Madison County Chamber/Contributed)

The UCI is the world governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. It is based in Aigle, Switzerland, and, amongst its 10 different disciplines, organizes road and track races each year leading up to the UCI World Championships in a variety of cities around the world. The May 2023 event in Huntsville was the first UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup round ever held in the United States. Prior to that, Huntsville also hosted two U.S. Opens, primarily for American athletes.

“Our community is up for this new challenge, and we can’t wait to have the athletes come back,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We loved to watch them compete. Our city is proud and thankful for the opportunity to host them again.”

For Team USA, the athletes will be in the final two years of preparation for the 2028 Games, which is projected to be one of the most inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games in history.

“Our athletes have said over and over how much they felt the support of this community every time they return to Huntsville, and it means the world to them,” said Julie Dussliere, chief of Paralympics & internally managed sports at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. “We are so excited to return here in 2026 to put on an even bigger and better show for this community and nations from around the world.”

The 2026 UCI Para-cycling World Championships will be held in Cummings Research Park. The daily competition schedule will include time trials and road races with two-wheeled cycles, handcycles, tandems and tricycles.

“This is going to be a terrific opportunity to see elite athletes race again, and these men and women are at the top of their sport,” said Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “It has been great to see the growing excitement around Para-cycling, and we are incredibly honored to host the UCI World Championships two years before the Olympic and Paralympic Games come to Los Angeles.”

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