National Cycling Championships coming to Lake Thurmond Dam
National Cycling Championships Coming to Lake Thurmond Dam
The USA Cycling National Time Trial Championship is coming to Thurmond Dam on Thursday, June 21. The race is part of the five-day USA Cycling Elite/U23/Junior Road Championships and US Paralympics National Cycling Championships, which will be held at venues around the region from June 20 – 24, 2012. The five-day championship event drew 1,090 athletes in 2011. Over 1,100 are expected to compete this year. The national cycling championships will be the last major event for several members of Team USA before the start of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London. The event is projected to have an economic impact of $2.5 million.
Over 600 riders are expected to compete in the time trial. The race is a unique discipline as the competitors do not race “head-to-head” but rather “against the clock”. The riders will start at thirty-second to one-minute intervals, and the cyclist with the fastest time over the distance of the course wins. The course starts on the South Carolina side of Thurmond Dam, crosses into Georgia and takes the riders along US-221 (Clarks Hill Rd.). Elite athletes will ride on the “long” course that crosses Washington Rd. at Pollard’s Corner and turns onto Cobbham Road (SR 150) before turning around at Ray Owens Rd. and returning to the finish at the dam. Subsequent categories will turn around on US-221 before reaching Washington Rd and return to the finish line.
For the safety of the athletes the course will be closed entirely to non-race traffic. Access across Thurmond Dam will be closed at 6am on Thursday, June 21. US-221 (Clark’s Hill Rd.) between the dam and Pollard’s Corner will be closed at 7:30am. Cobbham Rd. from Washington Rd. and Ray Owens Rd. will also close at 7:30am. Cobbham Rd. is expected to re-open by 1:30pm. US-221 is expected to open around 6pm. Course security will be managed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and McCormick County Sheriff’s Office.
The National Time Trial Championships will be a collaborative effort between USA Cycling, the Augusta Sports Council, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Columbia County, McCormick County and the Georgia and South Carolina Departments of Transportation.