USCF bike race plans being finalized

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Preparations are being finalized for the United States Cycling Federation Elite National Road Race Championship to be held here Sunday. Chuck Hodge of Palmetto Event Management was in town Monday making sure routes have been cleared to go.

Hodge said 180 cyclists are signed up for the race, which will determine the national champion.

Hodge said volunteers are still needed. An orientation will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the theater at theNatchez Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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&uot;It would help if people would sign up before that,&uot; Hodge said. &uot;They will get a T-shirt and our many thanks. Volunteers really go a long way in making a race way. They are very critical.&uot;

The race will start at 1 p.m. on Main Street and head out to Kingston for a 17-mile circuit. There they will take four race loops before heading back into town on Liberty Road, turning left on Auburn Avenue.

Cyclists will then do six laps downtown, including riding up and down Natchez-Under-The-Hill over a 4.5-mile circuit.

The first racer is expected to cross the finish line between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., depending on the conditions.

The total distance for the race is approximately 120 miles.

The race is for Category 1 riders. Many will be competing in the U.S. Olympic Trial Race in Jackson on Saturday.

Sunday’s race in Natchez will consist of amateurs only, while pros can compete for an Olympic spot.

Coming Wednesday: Story and graphics on route of United States Cycling Federation Elite National Road Race Championship.