Public is invited to U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open April 17-18
By Claire Aiello
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Huntsville Madison Chamber of Commerce
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – All are invited to Cummings Research Park (CRP) the weekend of April 17-18 to cheer on more than 100 premier athletes competing for a spot on Team USA.
The U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open presented by Toyota is the first of four domestic cycling events set to take place ahead of the Paralympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo in late August. This is the return to racing for many of the athletes, as competition was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Huntsville event will serve as a selection race for world cup races in Belgium and Italy, where Team USA Para-cyclists will seek qualification and selection for the Paralympic Games.
Planning for the Huntsville event has been underway for months. Athletes will travel from around the Southeast and the U.S. to compete, and we even have a Paralympian who lives right here in Alabama! No tickets are needed. The course covers all of Explorer Boulevard, the outer loop of CRP, so you can pick a spot along the course and cheer on the racers with your family.
“Cummings Research Park has been the site of several events for runners and cyclists over the years,” said Erin Koshut, the Park’s Executive Director. “With our wide streets, plenty of miles, low vehicle traffic on weekends and great locations for spectators, CRP is well suited to play host to these exemplary athletes on their journey to Tokyo. I know our more than 320 companies look forward to supporting the athletes and the Paralympics in this endeavor.”
The events take place rain or shine. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber has shared information with our local schools to encourage students to make posters, and we’d love for companies along the race course in CRP to invite employees and families out for the day and have a big show of support. The events are outdoors and there’s plenty of room to space out.
Here’s what will happen over the course of the two days. Saturday is for Individual Time Trials – athletes’ race against the clock to earn their best time possible. Sunday is for Road Races, and depending on the category and classification, racers will complete between two and seven laps. Events start and finish at Columbia High School both days.
VIEW THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE
You will see cyclists on two-wheeled bikes, but you’ll also see handcycling (from both recumbent and kneeling positions) as well as tricycling and tandem cycling. Some of the Para-cyclists were born with their disabilities, but several are veterans who suffered an injury in combat. You will be inspired by their speed, determination and perseverance.