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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Para-cycling Road World Cup makes its United States debut in Huntsville starting officially this Friday!

The UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup is being held at Cummings Research Park. Over 350 athletes from 40 countries are expected to compete in individual time trials, road races and a handcycle relay.

Some Huntsville residents may remember the U.S. Paralympics Para-cycling road events in 2021 and 2022, but the UCI event is said to be three times larger than those. It is also anticipated to be the largest World Cup ever held outside of Europe.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle encouraged support from Huntsville citizens, “If you’re in town this Memorial Day weekend, please come out to cheer the athletes on. We want to give everyone a big Rocket City welcome.”

Here are the dates and times of races going on throughout the weekend.

  • Friday, May 26
    • Individual Time Trials
      • Racing: 3-7:30 p.m.
      • Awards: 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 27
    • Individual Time Trials
      • Racing: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      • Awards: 3-3:45 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 28
    • Road Races
      • Racing: 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
      • Awards: 1:30-1:45 p.m. and 7:45-8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 29
    • Road Races
      • Racing: 8 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
      • Awards: 1-1:45 p.m. and 7:45-8:30 p.m.
      • Fireworks: 8:30 p.m.

Cummings Research Park Executive Director Erin Koshut says the World Cup will bring “international flavor.”

“These athletes have heard about our races and they’re excited to compete here. For many, it’s their first time to visit the U.S. and we’re following some very competitive World Cups in Italy and Belgium held over the last month. There’s a lot at stake – this is the World Cup finale for 2023 and you will see some high-stakes competition, including from Team USA!”

Erin Koshut

Competitors know that practice makes perfect. So, Huntsville residents should be aware of their surroundings when athletes practice on local roads. Some cyclists will travel on two-wheeled bikes, tall tricycles, or handcycles that ride low to the ground.

Explorer Boulevard will be closed on Wednesday, May 24 from Moquin Drive to Farrow Road near Columbia High School to ensure competitors’ safety. City and race officials still encourage drivers to keep an eye out around town, just in case.

Admission is free for anyone who would like to go and support the athletes. Spectators are encouraged to bring coolers, chairs, blankets, friends, and family members. The race can be viewed at the outside ring of Explorer Boulevard and the loop of CRP West.

To learn more about the World Cup race, visit the Huntsville Para World Cup website here.