Rescheduled Johnson City Omnium rolling into town this weekend
The Johnson City Omnium is celebrating its 14th year in 2020 with a few adjustments from its typical format. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event that is typically held at the end of May will take place August 15 and 16. The Criterium is the final event of the weekend and typically takes place in Downtown Johnson City. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Criterium will be hosted in Downtown Elizabethton. Details regarding these changes as well as new policies concerning COVID-19 can be found at www.jcomnium.com
The three races that make up the Omnium are known to cyclists as the most challenging racing east of the Rockies. The huge variety in terrain and type of racing has proven to be instrumental in developing bicycle racers who can be competitive both nationally and internationally. Even through the current COVID-19 situation, the event has seen in 8% increase in overall registrations.
The racing kicks off Saturday morning with the Carter County Roan Groan. With past winners returning, Tanner Ward, Men Pro/Am, and Madeline Bemis, Women Pro/Am, organizers expect intense competition. One local team, Robson Forensic P/B Milligan, will have six riders in both the men’s and women’s Pro/Am fields.
The Ballad Health Time Trial takes place Saturday evening on Temple Hill Rd. in Unicoi County. The monster climb up to Carver’s Gap Saturday morning will not be the last incline racers see throughout the weekend. Though it’s a short 3 mile course, The Ballad Health Time Trial features a full 1 mile climb right after the start.
The final stage comes Sunday at The Fat Tire Criterium in downtown Elizabethton. There are no climbs on this course but racers exceed speeds of 40 mph while circling the 0.5 mile course. Nine different categories of racers will have starts beginning at 8:20 a.m. The Women’s Pro/Am race starts at 2 p.m. racing for 40 minutes and the Men’s Pro/Am starts at 3 p.m. racing 90 minutes. This is the best pace to catch an action packed competition with high speed cornering, passing, and certainly a crash or two.
Prime locations to capture photos and interview racers or event staff will be at the Roan Groan Start (Cat Island Park in Elizabethton), The Roan Groan Finish (Carvers Gap), and throughout the course during the Criterium on Sunday.
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