HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An international cycling competition is coming to Huntsville!

After hosting two successful Para-cycling road events with the U.S. Paralympics Cycling in 2021 and 2022, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber announced 2023 will bring a much larger race with ‘international prestige’ and teams of athletes from around 40 countries.

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) awarded Huntsville the Para-Cycling World Cup, to be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-29, 2023. This is the first time this international cycling competition is coming to the U.S.

The Chamber expects around 300 athletes to compete, along with their team support staff and family members. Countries that typically compete are the United States, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Portugal and many others.

The races will be held in Cummings Research Park with various daily competitions including time trials and road races with different types of cycles, including two-wheeled cycles, handcycles, two-person tandem teams, and tricycles.

“We are incredibly honored UCI has selected Huntsville to host this premiere series of races,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said in a statement. “The Rocket City is definitely up to the challenge, and we look forward to hosting teams from all over the world.”

The UCI Para-cycling World Cup will not impact the Cotton Row Run, which is held in downtown Huntsville. It will still be held on Memorial Day morning, May 29. That day’s cycling races will begin later in the morning.

The races are free – no tickets are needed. Local residents and companies are encouraged to mark the dates on the calendar and plan gatherings along the course route.

You can visit the official event website here for more information. The course routes and race times will be announced at a later date. Volunteers are also needed, and the Chamber asks anyone interested to let them know on the site.