Two-year contract in Augusta ends for cycling event

Junior Men's 17-18 year-old winner Miguel Byron (center, in black) led the pack across the finish line during last week's USA Cycling National Championships in Augusta.

USA Cycling officials and participants were long gone. Left were Augusta Sports Council staff members picking up barricades, coolers, radios and the sort.

“The really exciting stuff is going on today,” deadpanned Randy DuTeau, the council’s sport development manager.

After five days of national championships held at various venues around Augusta, officials happily cleaned up Monday.

With USA Cycling in the second year of a two-year contract with Augusta, the event ran smooth from start to finish. DuTeau said area agencies – transportation officials, police, medical staff and more than 400 volunteers – have bought into the competition.

Though cyclists were greeted with warm, humid weather, DuTeau said they were provided with a high comfort level.

“It was a great event,” he said. “I know USA Cycling was extremely pleased. At­tendance was great. And the production went well.”

The USA Cycling National Cham­pion­ships (Elite, U23, Juniors and Paralympics) move in 2013 to Madison, Wis., for a two-year run. DuTeau said the event likely will move west afterward for an additional two years but could return within the decade to Augusta.

“Based on how well the last two years went,” he said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we had it again.”

DuTeau said his organization is riding a wave of momentum after holding events ranging from half-marathons to state golf championships to elite-level cycling this year. He added there are no major cycling competitions lined up for 2013, but sporting event organizers will see the job Augusta did last week – something that should attract other big-time competitions to the area.

“We are looking down the road,” he said. “I think we’ll see a lot more high-profile events coming.”

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