“This is sanctioned by the U.S. Cycling Federation,” said Leon Storm, coach of Rome Velo. “They’re the ones who select the Olympic cyclists and everything.”
The time trials, which will begin at Sonoraville Baptist Church at 9 a.m., will attract an estimated 150 cyclists, said Marcus Palazzolo, Calhoun Cycling Club president and proprietor of Cherokee Cycles.
“This is a big state event, and the winners of the different categories will be able to qualify for the national time trials, which are later this summer,” he said.
Cyclists will be categorized by age, with a separate category for triathletes, said Storm. “It’s really inclusive,” he said. “There are under-18 and over-60 racing categories.”
But the democratic nature of the event doesn’t end there, said Palazzolo.
“You don’t need a special bike or professional team to compete in this,” he said.
The nature of a time trial is different than a standard cycling event, said Palazzolo.
“There’s no team. It’s all about the individual riding against themselves. It’s just the cyclist and the clock,” he explained.
Storm and Palazzolo both said they encourage spectators and aspiring riders to come experience the event.
“There are lots of great places to come and watch the trials,” said Storm, “lots of hills to watch from on that route.”
“We’re expecting a big turnout,” said Palazzolo.
Storm estimated that “maybe close to 500” spectators would turn out to watch the trials, including many volunteers.
“Rome Velo is making a special offer for volunteers,” said Palazzolo. “We will waive registration for those who volunteer.”
Riders may register at at Sonoraville Baptist Church on the day of the event or call Marcus Palazzolo at Cherokee Cycles at 404-293-0439 for more information.