Botetourt County hosts 2022 Amateur Cycling Championship; expect traffic delays

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - More than 700 bicyclists will race in the 2022 Amateur Cycling Championship in Botetourt County Wednesday through Friday. Cyclists will finish the race in downtown Roanoke Saturday.

The biggest travel impact day will be Wednesday, when Route 11 will go from four lanes to two. The cyclists and drivers will be sharing the road all day. Drivers will have one lane going north and one going south.

A lieutenant with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s office explained his biggest concern is drivers not paying attention on the roads this week.

“We still have a lot of driveways and intersections, that’s what concerns us the most,” Lt. David Dillow said. “Drivers making turns into the northbound lanes and not paying attention to the cyclists.”

Roads off route 11 from Stoney Battery Road up until Hardbarger Road will be affected until 4 p.m. Wednesday. Later in the week, bicyclists will ride around the Botetourt Sports Complex on less popular roads.

“As this group of cyclists is racing through the county, we will be shutting down the roads at the appropriate times to let the cyclists through,” Dillow said.

The competition Thursday and Friday will have police escorts impacting Etzler Road, Catawba Road, Haymakertown Road, Breckinridge Mill Road, Lees Gap Road, Grove Hill Road and Blacksburg Road.

The Botetourt County Parks and Recreation director explained the county is prepared.

“Really the region has pulled together to put everything in place from emergency services to the sheriff’s office and all the localities that take part in an event of this size,” Mandy Adkins said.

The championship finishes in downtown Roanoke Saturday, with the race running from 8 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. Downtown drivers should prepare for closures at Church Avenue, 2nd, 3rd, Luck, Franklin and Jefferson.

“We just want people to be more cautious, and plan for extra time in their commute all three days,” Dillow said.

This is the first year Botetourt County and Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) have hosted the championship. Next year’s amateur cycling championship will return to the Blue Ridge.

With just two days until the start date for the race, VBR is still looking for volunteers to help out on the routes. The President of Visit Virginia Blue Ridge explained how the organization is expecting to generate a lot of revenue from this year’s race.

“They’re going to be staying in our hotels, they’re going to be eating in our restaurants, and so we’re forecasting about a $1.5 million economic impact,” Landon Howard said. “Our community is really becoming the biking capital with people from all over the world coming here to bike.”

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