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Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Pro Championships

New Spectator-Friendly Courses and Activities Unveiled for the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships

07.16.2008
Greenville, South Carolina

5K AND ONE MILE FUN RUN ADDED TO STARS AND STRIPES CHALLENGE

The details about new courses for the Individual Time Trial and Road Race were unveiled today at a press conference by Medalist Sports and City of Greenville for the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships, scheduled for August 30-31, 2008. This will be the third consecutive year that the dual championships for the best male cyclists in professional cycling will be held in the Upstate, with close to 80,000 spectators anticipated in the Upstate for Labor Day weekend.

Medalist Sports, the sports marketing agency licensed by USA Cycling, Inc. to manage the event, announced that a new 20.7-mile individual time trial will be hosted in Greenville by the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). This individual time trial championship will take place on Saturday, August 30. The professional road race championship course will use a similar 110-mile circuit on Sunday, August 31 that incorporates downtown Greenville streets and parks and four laps over Paris Mountain, but will have a new start/finish line in the West End section of downtown. Also new for 2008 will be two days of "Stars and Stripes Challenge" recreational events for spectators, with net proceeds raised being donated to support cancer research, including the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute.

"The community has truly rallied around this event the past two years. The rider that wears the Stars and Stripes jersey will have truly earned this country's premier cycling award and we will be proud to say it took place in our community," said the honorable Knox H. White, Mayor of Greenville.

The new venue for the Professional Individual Time Trial Championship (ITT) will be held on a 6.9-mile closed course within the CU-ICAR facility in Greenville, approximately 12 miles from downtown Greenville. In the past two years, the ITT was held at The Cliffs Valley community in Travelers Rest, S.C. This year, the new ITT course for the "race of truth" will offer fans the unique opportunity to see all pro cyclists navigate three full laps. Similar to the past two years, the cyclists will race against the clock for 20.7 miles. At the start/finish area, spectators will enjoy a big screen TV to watch live action around the course with announcers calling the action and a hospitality venue in prime location of the course. The ITT was won the past two years by Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Chipotle) of Salt Lake City, UT, who averaged 28.88 miles per hour (46.48kph). Greenville hosted the first-ever ITT championship for US professionals in 2006.

"This is a world-class event with a world-class facility to call home in 2008. Cycling fans will find it convenient to access CU-ICAR from downtown Greenville and I-85, with many spectator-friendly amenities such as ample parking and great viewing locations. With the addition of a 5K and one-mile fun run, the first day of the Championships has grown into a true community event for the entire family. We greatly appreciate the support from our partners, such as CU-ICAR, the City of Greenville, Greenville Hospital System, YMCA/Activate Upstate and the Palmetto Peloton Project to make this possible," said Chris Aronhalt, executive director of Medalist Sports, during the press conference held at the Carolina First Gallery at CU-ICAR on Tuesday.

The Professional Road Race Championship is now in its 24th season and third year in Greenville. The 2008 edition will cover 110-miles of racing, with a new start/finish area in the popular West End section of downtown Greenville. This area includes natural beauty, with Falls Park and the Reedy River as its showcase, and a plentitude of restaurants and shopping. Similar to last year, the course will include 10 passes through downtown Greenville and four climbs up Paris Mountain. Greenville resident and two-time U.S. national champion George Hincapie (Team Columbia) is expected compete for the road race title, which was won in 2007 by Levi Leipheimer (Team Astana) of Santa Rosa, Calif. Hincapie's teammate, Craig Lewis, also a resident of Greenville, is also expected to compete for the prestigious Stars & Stripes jersey.

"I didn't know how special it was to be racing the USA Cycling Pro Championships in Greenville until I was forced to sit it out last year. It's always great to be racing on the roads I grew up on, but to have such a high caliber event here is very special. That is something that very few professionals get to experience in their life," said Lewis, who was the Under-23 US National road and criterium champion in 2006, and now races with Hincapie on Team Columbia. "Having to race over Paris Mountain makes it that much more exciting and produces a worthy winner. I'm really looking forward to having George and myself on the same team going for the jersey this year."

"It was great to have the entire U.S. cycling scene in my backyard (in 2006 and 2007) and see first-hand why I live in Greenville. I am looking forward to racing in front of my family and friends again," added Hincapie, who is currently competing in the Tour de France with Team Columbia.

Official invitations have been extended by Medalist Sports, in conjunction with USA Cycling, Inc., to all eligible American professional cyclists. 2008 marks only the second year that the championships are open to Americans only who race for UCI-registered trade teams. Previously, the event was open to both American and international professional riders. The full field for the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships will be announced in mid-August.

In addition to new courses, the 2008 Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships has added events for spectators over the two days. The Stars and Stripes Challenge has been expanded to include a running event as well as its popular recreational bicycle ride.

"The new time trial at CU-ICAR is the perfect venue for our inaugural 5K and Family Fun Run. All participants will cross the finish line that the professional riders will cross later the same day. And the runners and walkers can help us get a step closer to defeating cancer, as well as supporting Activate Upstate," said Kevin Dunn, director of customer development for Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated in Greenville who serves as ride director for the Stars and Stripes Challenge.

The "Stars and Stripes Challenge" is hosted by the Palmetto Peloton Project (P3), a local non-profit organization that raises money for cancer advocacy and research. Dunn has overseen the organization's family-oriented cycling events each year of the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships. Last year, 600 riders participated in the Sunday bicycle ride, representing 33 states and Canada, and raised $87,000 for the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Stars and Stripes Bicycle Challenge will again be held from 7:00 a.m. to Noon on August 31, prior to the Road Race, with minimum registration of $50. The BI-LO Family Fun Ride at 10:00 a.m. is free. Also being scheduled is the ever-popular kid's bike races for the cycling stars of tomorrow, for several different age ranges.

The new Stars and Stripes 5K and One-Mile Fun Run will be held at 9:00 a.m. on August 30 at CU-ICAR. Advance registration is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. The net proceeds from this event will benefit the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and Activate Upstate, a free, year-round healthy living program led by the YMCA of Greenville, Greenville Hospital System and Furman University.

'Greenville Hospital System is honored to serve as title sponsor of the USA Cycling Professional Championships for a third year and to be a recipient of the Palmetto Peloton Project," said Greenville Hospital System President and CEO Mike Riordan. "We are grateful for P3's gift to cancer research because it not only impacts the people in our community but people across the county and around the world. In addition, P3 events, such as the bicycle ride and 5K run, offer our community an opportunity to get out and be active, which reinforces our commitment to total health."

Route maps and details for each professional race can be found at the official web site, www.usacyclingchampionships.com. In addition, the Web site offers online registration for volunteers, which are needed for both days. While admission to both races is free for spectators, hospitality passes are available for purchase.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 30-
USA Cycling Professional Individual Time Trial Championship

  • Start/finish will feature a new course at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The Greenville CU-ICAR campus is located off of Millennium Blvd. in Technology Neighborhood I, 12 miles from downtown Greenville.
  • The ITT start will begin at 11:00 a.m.
  • The Championship course is 6.9 miles in length and participating athletes will complete 3 laps, for a total of 20.7 miles.
  • Staggered start at one minute intervals for competitors; over 50 athletes expected in the field
  • Free for spectators; hospitality packages available

Stars and Stripes Challenge - 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run

  • 9:00 a.m. - 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on the same road course as the pros at CU-ICAR. Registration required.
  • Entry fee required. Event T-shirt provided. Cost is $15 for Adults, $10 for Children (12 & Under), and $20/$15 after August 15
  • Net proceeds benefit the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and Activate Upstate.

Sunday, August 31 -
USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship

  • Start/Finish in downtown Greenville; start time 1:00pm and finish between 4:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Over 110 miles of racing with 10 downtown laps; over 100 athletes expected in the field
  • FREE downtown health & wellness expo during the race, including Big Screen TV with live race coverage
  • Youth bicycle races and other childrens activities on site
  • Free for spectators; hospitality packages available

Stars and Stripes Challenge - Bicycle Ride

  • 7:30 a.m. to Noon - recreational bicycle ride on the same road course as the pros!
  • $50 advance registration, proceeds to The Lance Armstrong Foundation and Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute
  • 10:00 a.m. - start of Family Fun Ride in Cleveland Park, part of Stars and Stripes Challenge and FREE for participants
  • 2 p.m. Kid's Bike Races, free for participants

ABOUT MEDALIST SPORTS
Medalist Sports is a full-service international sports marketing company. Medalist Sports specializes in the planning, promotion and management of multi-day, multi-jurisdiction sports and special events. The Medalist Sports team has experience in all facets of the successful management and promotion of world-class sporting and cycling events in the United States, England, Australia and China. Clients and event experience include the Tour DuPont, Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T, Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Missouri, USA Cycling, Inc. and the Lance Armstrong Foundation's LIVESTRONG Challenge Series. Medalist Sports' headquarters are located south of metro Atlanta at P.O. Box 415, Tyrone, GA 30290. The company website is www.medalistsports.com.

ABOUT GREENVILLE HOSPITAL SYSTEM
Greenville Hospital System is one of the Southeast's leading healthcare providers, nationally recognized for advanced technology, innovative research and teaching excellence. The system's five campuses include a Level I trauma center, three acute-care hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities. Greenville Hospital System Cancer Center offers the region's broadest array of cancer specialists, many working through the Oncology Multidisciplinary Center. This multidisciplinary approach to the effective management of cancer allows patients to meet with a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist to receive a comprehensive treatment plan all in one day. More information is available at www.ghs.org.

ABOUT PALMETTO PELOTON PROJECT
The Palmetto Peloton Project (P3), based in Greenville, S.C., exists to promote the advancement of cancer research and advocacy efforts locally, regionally and nationally through fundraising cycling events. Through support from local businesses and enthusiastic cyclists, the Palmetto Peloton Project has raised over $250,000 for cancer research and advocacy since its inception in 2005. In 2007 as part of the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships, P3 will host the "Stars and Stripes Challenge", recreational cycling and running events to support local cancer research. For more information, visit www.palmettopelotonproject.org.

ABOUT USA CYCLING
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women's National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org. For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or alee@usacycling.org.

###

Contacts
Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Pro Championships
(770) 631-1239
chris.aronhalt@medalistsports.com
www.usacyclingchampionships.com

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New Spectator-Friendly Courses and Activities Unveiled for the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships
August Dates Set for National Championships for Professional Cycling in Return to South Carolina
Expanded Event Schedule for Fourth Year of Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships
25 Corporate Partners Support 25th Edition of National Pro Cycling Championships

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