Charlottesville celebrates the nation’s best cyclists

There are plenty of youngsters on the USA Cycling Team, which competes for the world championship at the end of the month. There are plenty of youngsters on the USA Cycling Team, which competes for the world championship at the end of the month.

On a rainy day in June, city officials, biking representatives and enthusiasts huddled under the dry nTelos Wireless Pavilion while USA Cycling spokesperson Jim Miller announced that Charlottesville would host the U.S. team’s training camp before the Richmond UCI Road World Championships September 20-27.

Kurt Burkhart, the executive director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau promised clear skies for the team’s September visit and today he delivered.

Under the name of Cycle Fest, a crowd of guests and about 20 booths and vendors gathered at the pavilion on September 17 to celebrate the team’s current residence in Charlottesville. The bicycle-themed expo included local bike shops, cycling clubs and classes, free bike inspections and free bike decorating supplies for kids.

“You just can’t beat Southern hospitality,” Miller says about his brief stay in Charlottesville.

USA cycler Chloé Dygert agrees, saying, “I’ve really enjoyed being able to ride with the best girls in the nation and I hope to do that in the road race.” The team has practiced for the last week on Charlottesville and Albemarle roads.

Dygert raced Monday, winning the gold for the junior world championship time trial. Skylar Schneider, showing off red, white and blue sneakers, doesn’t race until Friday.

“Once we found out we were selected for worlds,” Schneider says, “our families were quite excited and wanted to make sure we were outfitted the best we could be to represent our country.”

Updated September 22 with Dygert’s win.