The UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships will bring many more athletes, staff, and fans to Rocket City USA after successful UCI World Cup event held in May
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (August 7, 2023) – The Huntsville/Madison County community is thrilled to announce, in partnership with Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and U.S. Paralympics Cycling, that the Rocket City has been awarded the prestigious 2026 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.
This premier event will bring approximately 600 of the world’s top athletes, along with their support staff and families, to Huntsville over Labor Day weekend, September 4-7, 2026. The UCI holds the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships just once per year, and these have only been held in the U.S. on one occasion: in 2014 in Greenville, South Carolina.
This competition will be much larger than the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup round recently hosted in Huntsville over the Memorial Day holiday. The recent UCI World Cup featured 350 elite athletes from 40 countries who competed in different types of Para-cycling races. It was the third UCI World Cup round of the season, as athletes prepared to compete in the 2023 UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. In fact, these are currently underway in Glasgow and across Scotland, August 3 – 13.
“After a fantastic round of the 2023 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, I am delighted that Huntsville will again welcome the world’s best para-cyclists in 2026, this time for their leading annual event on the road,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “This is a welcome return to the United States, just two years before the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.”
The UCI is the world governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. It is based in Aigle, Switzerland, and, amongst its 10 different disciplines, organizes road and track races each year leading up to the UCI World Championships in a variety of cities around the world. The May 2023 event in Huntsville was the first UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup round ever held in the United States. Prior to that, Huntsville also hosted two U.S. Opens, primarily for American athletes.
“Our community is up for this new challenge, and we can’t wait to have the athletes come back,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We loved to watch them compete. Our city is proud and thankful for the opportunity to host them again.”
For Team USA, this event will be even more important because in 2026 athletes will be in the final two years of preparation for the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, which is projected to be one of the most inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games in history.
“Our athletes have said over and over how much they felt the support of this community every time they return to Huntsville, and it means the world to them,” said Julie Dussliere, chief of Paralympics & internally managed sports at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). “We are so excited to return here in 2026 to put on an even bigger and better show for this community and nations from around the world.”
The 2026 UCI Para-cycling World Championships will be held in Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the U.S. and fourth largest in the world. The daily competition schedule will include time trials and road races with different types of cycles, including two-wheeled cycles, handcycles, tandems and tricycles.
“This is going to be a terrific opportunity to see elite athletes race again, and these men and women are at the top of their sport,” said Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “It has been great to see the growing excitement around Para-cycling, and we are incredibly honored to host the UCI World Championships two years before the Olympic and Paralympic Games come to Los Angeles.”
Place this exciting event on your calendar for Labor Day weekend, September 4-7, 2026. No tickets are needed to watch the races, and it’s a fantastic and inspiring event to watch with your family or company. There will also be plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Sponsorships are also available – please contact Erin Koshut at [email protected] for more information.
VP, Marketing & Communications
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber
Cummings Research Park