US Road Cycling will be in Chattanooga Memorial Day

The pinnacle of US Road Cycling will be in Chattanooga Memorial Day Weekend for 2013, 2014, 2015 and maybe beyond! This is your chance to see the top Men and Women cyclers without having to travel to the Tour the France. The winners of the race however will be headed to France to take their shot at being the crowned the best in the world.

At a Glance:
Time Trial at Volkswagen Plant

May 25 

Course Map

Road Race
 around Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain
May 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Viewing the Races

There will be several events going on race weekend, including Time Trials at Volkswagen’s facility on Saturday, the first road race to include women’s and men’s events on the same day (Monday), a hand cycling time trial and timed criterium. The event with the most draw will be the road race – a punishing 102.7 miles for the men and 63.7 for the women going through Downtown Chattanooga and up Lookout Mountain.

Top 5 Viewing Spots for the Road Race
• City Center
• Northshore
• Market Street Bridge
• Lookout Mountain
• 212 Market

The start/finish line is located on the corners of MLK and Market Street, also known as City Center. There will be a festival-like atmosphere with vendor tents, big screen live coverage, announcers and kids activities galore. Several restaurants in this area offer patio seating including Community Pie, Pickle Barrel and Public House.

Another place to party will be Frazier Avenue on Chattanooga’s Northshore. Restaurants like Northshore Grille, Brewhaus and Marco’s Italian Bistro offer patio seating, and Grymes hopes merchants will organize special events to entertain during the downtime.

Market Street and Veteran’s Bridges will both be crossed by cyclists, with Market likely closed to cars all day. One of the most biker-friendly restaurants in the city, 212 Market, is located right on the course and will offer plenty of bike racks and great views from its second story patio.

One of the best ways to see the race is on your own bike, advises Grymes. You can easily maneuver street closures and it alleviates parking headaches. Insider tip: try Chattanooga’s bike transit system instead of hauling your bike from out of town. Plenty of stations are located throughout the course.

Of course, there’s nothing like watching professional cyclists tackle a burning climb. The Georgia side of Lookout Mountain is the perfect place to catch the uphill action, but the road will be on rolling closures so don’t expect to camp out all day. (That means cars follow the last cyclist each lap.) There are scenic pull-offs sprinkled up the mountain, but two main ones are the parking lot for the Guild-Hardy trail and the pull-off for Glen Falls (both located on left-hand side). You can also park in the Incline parking lot and walk up.

If you want to see them scream down the mountain, reaching speed up to 50-60 miles per hour, head toward Ruby Falls. Attractions like Ruby Falls, the Incline and Rock City are must sees while you’re up on the mountain.

The Time Trial, held Saturday, will be smaller but offer more opportunities to see the cyclists in action thanks to a shorter course (19 miles). Unlike the road race, cyclists are racing the clock instead of each other. The Chattanooga Market will open a special location near Volkswagen that day, and a charity bike ride will be held earlier in the day at Enterprise South Industrial Park – the site of the Time Trial.

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