HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Huntsville/Madison County community is excited to announce that U.S. Paralympics Cycling will visit the Rocket City next year, as it begins its national calendar in preparation for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this coming summer. We will host one of four domestic cycling events, the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open, the second opportunity for cyclists to qualify for Tokyo.
The events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, 2021 in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the nation and fourth largest in the world. Time trials will be held on Saturday, and road races will be held on Sunday. Approximately 100 Para athletes are expected to compete in the weekend’s cycling events.
“Huntsville is honored to host a world-class event for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in 2021,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We’re a City that embraces a competitive spirit in all that we do, and the Paralympics adds another dimension to a community that respects and admires high performance. We’re excited for the opportunity to experience the skill, determination, and athletic prowess of these outstanding athletes and for all those who dare to dream and excel.”
The athletes will compete in three different types of road cycling events including the men’s and women’s road race, individual time trial, and handcycling team relay. Learn more about U.S. Paralympics Cycling: Teamusa.org/USParaCycling
Ian Lawless, director of U.S. Paralympics Cycling, and three-time Paralympian Oz Sanchez participated in Thursday’s announcement.
“As we re-chart our path to Tokyo, we are eager to safely get our athletes back on the road for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” said Lawless. “With over 100 athletes competing to represent Team USA in 2021, this will be one of our largest domestic events of the year.”
Nationally, Toyota is proud to partner with U.S. Paralympics Cycling, and the company will also sponsor the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in Huntsville. Additional local sponsors will be announced in the future.
“We are thrilled that the City of Huntsville is hosting the 2021 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open Presented by Toyota,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, Olympic and Paralympic marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “Huntsville means a lot to us at Toyota, so it’s great to see that the city will play such an important role by hosting this event. As a proud partner of Team USA and U.S. Paralympics Cycling, we look forward to extending Toyota hospitality to the athletes and event staff. I know our exceptional Team Members at Toyota Alabama are excited for such an important event for Team USA to take place in their city.”
Medalist Sports is organizing the events, and the team visited Huntsville in October to view different areas for race course options and discuss planning and logistics with representatives of the City of Huntsville and Huntsville Police Department. They also met with representatives of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, Cummings Research Park, and the Huntsville Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“Cummings Research Park has been the site of several events for runners and cyclists over the years,” said Erin Koshut, the Park’s Executive Director. “With our wide streets, plenty of miles, low vehicle traffic on weekends and great locations for spectators, CRP is well suited to play host to these exemplary athletes on their journey to Tokyo. I know our more than 320 companies look forward to supporting the athletes and the Paralympics in this endeavor.”
“Huntsville is known around the globe as a hub for innovation and exploration, and hosting an event of this stature really underscores our city’s reputation as a go-to destination for events,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “For the planners, we look forward to a seamless event execution, and for the athletes, providing a memorable experience in the Rocket City. We hope the athletes, families, officials and fans will take the opportunity to enjoy the attractions and amenities that Huntsville has to offer while visiting.”
VP, Marketing & Communications
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber
Executive Director, Cummings Research Park