Nothing beats working an event in your backyard, especially when it’s a bike race. I got my start in sports when a friend and I hosted a small bike race at Fort Gordon Augusta in 1992, and it was an honor to keep the tradition going at the 2019 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships in Augusta May 10-12, 2019.
Since the modest beginnings of our small bike race, Augusta has played host to five USA Cycling National Championships, and Collegiate Nats were the latest in the rich history. The event brought college teams from across the United States to compete in the three-day, four disciplines event: Team Time Trial (TTT), Individual Time Trial (ITT), Road Race, and Criterium. The road race and time trials were held on a legendary circuit at Fort Gordon, and the criterium was held in historic Downtown Augusta.
Race Director Shawn Brett of USA Cycling organized a great race, and the Augusta Sports Council’s local support was excellent. The weather even cooperated to some degree, although the heat and humidity took its toll on riders not used to pedaling through a warm bath.
This being Georgia, it had to rain and, of course, it held off until the final day, which meant the criteriums had more than the typical carnage. The rain did cease for the podium presentations, but as the riders were packing up to leave, and we began to breakdown the venue, the bottom fell out. It was a soggy end for us, but as long as the riders left happy, we knew we’d done our job.