Pro Cycling Championship leaving Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Pro Cycling Championship leaving Greenville

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A competitor in the USA Pro Cycling Championship pedals through Clemon's ICAR campus. (File/FOX Carolina) A competitor in the USA Pro Cycling Championship pedals through Clemon's ICAR campus. (File/FOX Carolina)

Every spring for the past seven years, the Upstate has turned into cycling central. This year will be the last time competitors in the USA Pro Cycling Championship will pedal their way through Greenville.

It was announced Thursday that Chattanooga, TN, was awarded the races from 2013 to 2015. Officials said the mountain city was chosen because of its similarities to Greenville, including a pro-business climate, a river and mountains to challenge the contestants.

While the news is disappointing to city leaders in Greenville, they say it happened by design.

"We knew that we were getting the para-cycling event world championships when we decided not to submit (a bid) for the USA Pro Cycling," said Greenville Mayor Pro Tempore David Sudduth.

Sudduth said that while the races were a major boost to the area's economy, they wanted to set their goals a little higher. He said that was why the city bid for the 2014 Para-Cycling World Championships.

The five-day event in late August and early September features the best races who happen to have visual or physical handicaps. It's expected to draw more than 400 athletes and 200 coaches from more than 45 counties to Greenville. It will also be the first time since 1998 that this race has been held in the U.S.

"I think the world championships will be very successful," Sudduth said. "For one, we have a huge international contingency in the business community with BMW and Fluor and with Michelin."

This year's 115-mile road race for the Pro Cycling Championship will be held from May 26 to 28 in Greenville.

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