Charlottesville hosts champ camp for cyclists

Local Andrea Dvorak will compete in the UCI Road World Championship. Staff photo Local Andrea Dvorak will compete in the UCI Road World Championship. Staff photo

Richmond isn’t the only city that’ll be overrun with bicyclists when the Union Cycliste Internationale Road World Championships are held there this fall. Charlottesville will host the USA team camp before the September 19-27 event.

“We are preparing to welcome the world to C’ville,” said Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Joni Johnson at a June 4 press conference. The USA cycling team will arrive in Charlottesville September 9.

At the “camp”—actually Hyatt Place—the athletes will continue to physically and mentally prepare themselves while also meeting locals through hosted events and meet and greets. Bikers will be training on area roads.

About 1,000 athletes are scheduled to compete in the nine-day event in Richmond, joined by a collective support staff of about 600, about 1,000 journalists and other personnel, and 450,000 spectators, according to the competition’s website. The expected economic impact for the state is $158 million and Charlottesville will be getting a piece of that giant pie.

At the conference, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chair Jane Dittmar said she expects spillover tourists to frequent Charlottesville, giving this part of the commonwealth a chance to shine. Charlottesville’s attractiveness to the team comes from the city’s energetic local bike scene that is supported by local bike shops, she said.

While cyclists will be coming in from all around the world, at least one Charlottesville rider will be competing as well. Crozet resident Andrea Dvorak is a professional cyclist who started a biking program at the Miller School with her husband. She suggests locals download Strava, a running and cycling app, that allows users to track USA cyclists’ riding and statistics as well as record their own.