The USA Pro Road National Championships is a professional road cycling race that takes place annually in various parts of the United States. The race is organized by USA Cycling (USAC), which is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including BMX, cyclocross, mountain bike, road, and track. The race typically takes place in late June or early July and features the most elite cyclists the US has to offer, typically covering a distance of around 120 miles (193 km) which includes a number of difficult climbs. This year it takes place on June 26th in Knoxville, TN -- June 22 is the individual time trial event (34.9km men, 23.2km women), June 24 is the criterium (80 minutes men, 70 minutes women), and June 25th is a free Olympic Day event where fans can meet the riders, finally leading up to the Road Nationals on the 26th that will cover 186.1km for the men's event and 109.4km for the women's event. The race is one of the most prestigious road cycling events in the United States and has been won by some of the sport's biggest names, including Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond.
One of the previous national championships, don't be like the people reaching over the barrier.
Knoxville is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. The park draws in visitors from all over the world who come to experience its beautiful scenery and hiking trails. Knoxville is also home to the University of Tennessee, which adds to the city's tourist attractions. The university's campus is located in the heart of downtown Knoxville and is full of historic buildings and monuments.
Knoxville, TN. Around the middle is the notable World's Fair Park with the recognizable sunsphere.
Knoxville is a great bicycling destination for several reasons. First, the city has a lot of green space and bike-friendly parks. Second, the city has a growing network of bike lanes and trails. Third, Knoxville is home to a number of bike shops and cycling clubs. Lastly, the city hosts a number of large cycling events each year, such as the Knoxville Criterium.
Some notable riders
Lawson Craddock is a 25-year-old professional cyclist from the United States. He is a two-time national champion in the time trial discipline and has represented his country at the World Championships. Craddock is a strong all-rounder and has the ability to climb well, which makes him a dangerous contender in any race. He is currently riding for Team BikeExchange-Jayco and will be one of the favorites to win the US Pro Road National Championships and ITT.
Craddock, the reigning men's time trial champion, is hoping for a repeat performance at the 2022 USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships in June. The 30-year-old Texas native has been racing for over 20 years and currently splits his time between Austin and Girona, Spain with his wife and two young children. Craddock attributes much of his success to current coach Jim Miller. This season has had its share of ups and downs but highlights include winning three stages of the Giro d'Italia last month. With Nationals just around the corner, Craddock is focusing on preparing for both the time trial (which he looks to defend) and road race events.
Craddock in his natural environment, crushing it on a TT bike.
Neilson Powless is another rider to watch, the young American rider is having an amazing breakout year. He's already won two stage races, the Joe Martin Stage Race and the Tour of the Gila. He just finished 4th overall in the Tour de Suisse, and 8th overall (just behind Alejandro Valverde that finished 7th) at the Liège–Bastogne–Liège earlier in the year. He's shown that he can compete with the best riders in the country and he's only getting better. He's a strong climber and time trialist, which will serve him well at the US Pro Road National Championships. With a strong team behind him, Neilson Powless has a good chance of winning the US Pro Road National Championships.
Oneida cyclist Neilson Powless is among the highest-ranked Americans in the pro-cycling world rankings, after finishing 4th in the Tour de Suisse on Sunday. It was his career-best at a World Tour stage race. The Tour de Suisse was held June 12-19 and is notable for its rigorous climbing and high altitudes in the Swiss Alps. In 2020, Powless made headlines by becoming the first Native American to ride in the Tour de France. Powless rides for team EF Education-EasyPost and has continued to improve since becoming a professional cyclist in 2018, with 2020 being his most successful year. For Powless, endurance sports run in the family--his grandfather was a champion boxer, his father was a nationally ranked triathlete, and his mother is a 1992 Olympic marathoner. His sister Shayna is also Oneida and is also a professional cyclist for L39ION of Los Angeles.
Powless, one of the contenders for this year's national road champion title.
The USA Pro Road National Championships is one of the most prestigious road cycling events in America, with many top cyclists vying for the title each year. This year's race promises to be an exciting event. With appearances from defending ITT champion Lawson Craddock, who is hoping for a repeat performance. Many eyes are also on Neilson Powless, who had a strong showing at this year's Tour de Suisse and has continued to improve since becoming a professional cyclist in 2018. With such talented athletes competing, it should be a thrilling race to watch.