This weekend’s USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships is a first-of-its-kind event in Knoxville that will draw hundreds of elite athletes from across the U.S. competing for four national titles.

But the logistics of managing a world-class cycling event – and keeping athletes, fans and motorists safe – are complicated.

More than two dozen Knoxville streets will be closed to accommodate Saturday’s time-trial competition and Sunday’s road race championships.

KAT will adjust 11 bus and trolley routes, but transit passengers still will be able to reach most of their regular destinations. Access will be maintained to public garages supporting the races and other downtown events this weekend.

Visit Knoxville, USA Cycling, Knoxville Area Transit, City Traffic Engineering, emergency responders and other partners have collaborated in preparing for the championships.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know to navigate downtown, East Knoxville and South Knoxville this weekend:

 

About the event

On Saturday, June 24, professional men and women will compete in time trial competitions on a closed-loop course that includes part of Neyland Drive, Central Street through downtown and the Old City, Jackson Avenue, McCalla Avenue, Harriet Tubman Street and East Hill Avenue. The “race against the clock” begins at 10:40 a.m. with pro women. The individual time trial for pro men will go from about 1:25 to 3:30 p.m.

Saturday also features the American Red Cross Pedal for the Red event, allowing amateurs to ride the same course as the pros – 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Go to www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/pedal-red/.

On Sunday, June 25, pro cyclists will compete in challenging road races for the two final Stars and Stripes jerseys of the weekend. A stellar field of pro women will ride from 9 a.m. to noon with eight laps for a total of 63 miles. At 1:15 p.m., the pro men race on the same course for 14 laps, a total of 109 miles, with an expected finish in Old City between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m.

Sunday’s closed-loop course follows some of the same roads used for the time trials, but also picks up several downtown streets before crossing into South Knoxville at the Gay Street Bridge, which will be closed to vehicles.

Closed streets in South Knoxville include all or sections of Council Place, Atchley Street, Mimosa Avenue, Sherrod Road, Davenport Road, Cottrell Street and Anita Drive, before the course resumes on James White Parkway and returns via East Hill Avenue, Harriet Tubman Street, McCalla Avenue and Jackson Avenue to the Old City.

No vehicles will be allowed onto the courses, but the Knoxville Police Department will safely direct vehicles across Sunday’s course at designated crossing points when cyclists are not present. Motorists are asked to be patient and await a safe officer-assisted crossing.

To view maps of the course, visit https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/event-info/race-routes/.

For maps of street closures, visit https://www.waze.com/events/national-championships-2017-06-23 or https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/event-info/road-closures-maps.

For maps showing the designated crossing points, visit https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/event-info/road-closures-maps.

Questions about logistics? Please call Visit Knoxville at 865-342-9118.

KAT buses and trolleys

            KAT will be changing service on 11 bus or trolley routes this weekend serving the downtown and East Knoxville areas:

  • Route 11 – Kingston Pike: On Sunday only, there will be no inbound service on Main Street;
  • Route 20 – Central Street: No service on Magnolia Avenue; using Fifth Avenue instead;
  • Route 22 – Broadway: No service on Summit Hill Drive or Hall of Fame Drive; using Church Avenue to Henley Street;
  • Route 24 – Breda Road: No service on Magnolia Avenue; using Fifth Avenue instead;
  • Route 30 – Parkridge: No service on MLK; using Hall of Fame to Magnolia Avenue to Bertrand Street;
  • Route 32 – Dandridge: No service on Summit Hill; using Hall of Fame to Magnolia to Bertrand, Bethel Avenue to Surrey Road, back to Dandridge Avenue and Hazen Street;
  • Route 33 – MLK: No service on Hill Avenue or MLK; instead, using Hall of Fame to Magnolia to Bertrand;
  • Route 34 – Burlington: No service to Austin Homes, Harriet Tubman Street or Dandridge Avenue; instead, using Hall of Fame to Magnolia to Bertrand; and
  • Route 40 – South Knoxville: No service on Hall of Fame or Hill Avenue; instead, using Church Avenue to Henley Street to Blount Avenue.On Saturday, the Blue Line Trolley will not operate, and the Green Line Trolley will not serve the Old City. (KAT does not operate the trolleys on Sundays.)

 

For details and maps of detours, visit www.katbus.com, visit the Knoxville Station lobby, or call 865-637-3000.

 

 

Street closures

 

Street closures start Friday in the Old City. Here is a complete list of Saturday and Sunday road closures:

Saturday, June 24

 

Roads will be closed in Old City area from 6:30 a.m. until about 4 p.m., and traffic will be impacted during that time on Neyland Drive between Lake Loudon Boulevard and South Central Street. Calhoun’s restaurant patrons should park at the City County Building Garage.

 

Other time trial road impacts with rolling closures include:

 

  • Patton Street between Willow and East Jackson avenues;
  • East Jackson between South Central Street and Harriett Tubman Street;
  • Harriett Tubman between McCalla and East Hill avenues;
  • East Hill between Harriett Tubman and Historic Preservation Drive;
  • Historic Preservation between East Hill Avenue and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Drive;
  • Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Drive between Historic Preservation Drive and Neyland Drive exit ramp (near the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame);
  • Neyland Drive between Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Drive and Lake Loudon Boulevard; and
  • South Central between Neyland and East Jackson Avenue.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 25

 

Traffic will be impacted from 8 a.m. until about 6:45 p.m. along a 7.9-mile course used for USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships. Expect delays at intersections, as traffic will be allowed to pass periodically in these areas.

 

Road closures to accommodate the national championships are:

 

  • East Jackson Avenue between Harriett Tubman Street and South Central Street;
  • South Central between East Jackson Avenue and Cumberland Avenue;
  • Cumberland between South Central and State Street;
  • State between Cumberland Avenue and West Hill Avenue;
  • West Hill between Hall of Fame Drive and South Gay Street / Gay Street Bridge;
  • Gay Street – including the Gay Street Bridge across the Tennessee River, southbound lanes between Cumberland and Blount avenues, and northbound lanes between Blount and Hill avenues;
  • Council Place between the Gay Street Bridge and Atchley Street;
  • Atchley between Council Place and Mimosa Avenue;
  • Mimosa between Atchley Street and Sherrod Road;
  • Sherrod between Mimosa and Davenport Road;
  • Davenport between Sherrod and Cottrell Street;
  • Cottrell between Wynn Avenue and Anita Drive;
  • Anita between Cottrell and the James White Parkway access ramp;
  • James White Parkway between Anita Drive access and Sevierville Pike;
  • James White Parkway between Anita Drive and East Hill Avenue;
  • East Hill between James White Parkway and Harriett Tubman Street;
  • Harriett Tubman between East Hill and McCalla Avenue; and
  • McCalla between Harriett Tubman and East Jackson Avenue.

 

 

Cycling Expo

 

Part of the experience of being a host city for a national race is the opportunity to visit the Knoxville Cycling Expo, which will be held in the Old City on Jackson Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 24, and 8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Sunday, June 25.

 

Vendors will be showcasing new products, local wares, demos and merchandise – offering a unique look at the world of professional racing to all spectators. Food and beverage vendors and entertainers will be on hand as well.

 

Admission to the Expo is free, but VIP hospitality tickets are available for purchase.

 

Visit https://www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/event-info/knoxville-cycling-expo/ for details or VIP tickets.

 

 

How and where to watch the races

 

The men’s 109-mile race on Sunday afternoon will be broadcast live by media partner WATE Channel 6, the local ABC affiliate, and highlights of the women’s 63-mile race will be broadcast as well.

 

Visit Knoxville and USA Cycling will webcast two of the four professional races. Flying Fish Productions will live stream the USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships for women and men on Sunday, June 25.

 

Follow updates on Twitter: @usacycling and #USPRO or @visitknoxville.

 

In addition, Visit Knoxville has suggested some prime public viewing spots and gatherings where cycling fans can watch this weekend’s USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships.

 

 

Where to watch Saturday’s time trial championships

(10:40 a.m. start for women, 1:25 p.m. for men):

 

  • The official start/finish at 400 E. Jackson Avenue in Old City is the prime location for spectators.
  • Come early from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and cheer on local celebrities and amateurs as they ride in Pedal for the Red to raise funds and awareness for the American Red Cross of Eastern Tennessee.
  • Merchants of Beer, 137 S. Central St., and Pretentious Beer Co., 131 S. Central St., will be hosting a joint viewing party near the start/finish, sponsored by the Knoxville Mercury.
  • Stand on the sidewalk and cheer from the west side of the Gay Street Bridge. Cyclists will pass under the bridge twice.

 

 

Where to watch Sunday’s Road Race Championships

(9 a.m. start for women, 1:15 p.m. for men):

  • See the rider introductions from the awards stage before each race start. At the Expo in the Old City, watch racing action on a big screen TV (Sunday only) and listen to the announcers as they describe the climbs, the hairpin turns, the breakaways. And enjoy culinary specialties from local food trucks – including Chelsea’s, Haw Dawgs, Holy Smokin’ BBQ, Mamma Gallina’s, Smoky Mountain Kona Ice.
  • There’s a viewing party at Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria in the Old City, with special menu offerings and a prize pack giveaway.
  • Merchants of Beer, 137 S. Central St., and Pretentious Beer Co., 131 S. Central St., will be hosting a joint viewing party near the start/finish, sponsored by the Knoxville Mercury.
  • Watch the race on TV at the Urban Bar & Corner Cafe, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, Pretentious Glass or the Crown & Goose in Old City. Then go outside with your cowbells ringing to see the final 90-degree turn and the sprint to the finish on the corner of South Central Street and Jackson Avenue.
  • Eat, drink and celebrate cycling at one of the restaurants in downtown Knoxville. Set up your own tailgate party picnic near the Blount Mansion Visitors Center, and watch the peloton twist along Gay Street to Hill Avenue and State Street.
  • Bring a chair to Red Brick Market, 1401 McCalla Ave. Racing fans will be gathering there as well.

 

 

Attending other weekend events

 

In addition to 5,000 or more cycling fans, downtown this weekend will be hosting the Market Square Farmers’ Market on Saturday, the 2017 Bijou Jubilee on Sunday evening, and Fanboy Expo at the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

Downtown enthusiasts point out that Knoxville frequently hosts multiple big weekend events downtown. Visit Knoxville advises attendees to the races and other events to plan ahead and be familiar with the race routes, street closures and crossing points. Plan your approach into downtown to avoid street closures, and know where to park before leaving the house.

 

If you’re heading to Fanboy Expo on Sunday, choose a route coming into downtown from the northern or western ends of downtown – Broadway, for example, or Cumberland Avenue. If you’re coming from South Knoxville, take Henley Street – the Gay Street and James White Parkway bridges will be closed for much of Sunday.

 

Parking in a City garage? Fanboy attendees should park for free in the Locust Street or Walnut Street garages – they’re closest to the Convention Center, and access won’t be affected by street closures.

 

Farmers’ Market attendees on Saturday can easily access the Market Square Garage. It’s free and half a block away from the market.

 

Sunday’s races will end at about the same time as Bijou Jubilee’s VIP gathering at Club LeConte. Early arrivers may want to park on the streets or in any of the public garages west of Gay Street. The last race will end between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. Sunday, so all downtown streets will be reopen by 6:45 p.m., before the music starts at 7:30 p.m.

 

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