Cycling championships coming to Grand Valley

The Grand Valley is scheduled to host both national collegiate and para-cycling bicycle championships.

The Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission and USA Cycling announced the USAC collegiate road national championship and para-cycling road national championship have been scheduled for April 27 to 30 in Grand Junction

“Both the para-cycling and collegiate championships promise to feature fantastic racing. Hosting these races offers a tremendous opportunity for exposure of the Grand Valley on a national level,” said Jennifer Stoll, executive director of the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission.

“We are excited to be working with the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission and Colorado Mesa University to bring both collegiate and para-cycling road national championships to Grand Junction for 2017,” said Micah Rice, vice president of national events for USA Cycling. “The strong, welcoming cycling community in this area paired with the abundance of scenic riding will make for a fantastic USA Cycling national championship.”

The collegiate championship is scheduled to return to Grand Junction in 2018.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USA Cycling serves as the governing body for competitive cycling in the United States and organizes more than a dozen national championships annually.

Stoll said several factors helped the Grand Valley beat out other communities vying to host the races. The Grand Valley is known for its world-class cycling trails and courses. Moreover, the commission previously has hosted cycling events, including regional collegiate championships.

The commission — a collaborative effort of Colorado Mesa University, Mesa County, the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita and town of Palisade — promotes sports events that contribute to the Grand Valley economy.

The commission announced earlier this year it had submitted a total of 20 bids to the National Collegiate Athletic Association to bring various championships to local venues during upcoming seasons. The effort included bids for NCAA Division II championships in men’s and women’s cross country, soccer, swimming and diving and tennis. The commission also submitted bids for national collegiate championships in shooting and skiing.