Collegiate Road Nationals are warm up for next year’s world race

Posted at 9:52 PM, May 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-04 21:58:12-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- After a three-day USA cycling event, the River City is now preparing for a much bigger event.

While a national championship cannot be called a warm-up lap, the Collegiate Road Nationals gave the city a chance to see how they will handle next year's ICU Road World Championships.

"They handled it back when it was Tour DuPont and Tour de Trump, so they should be able to handle it no problem,” cycling fan Kenny Wyattie said.

Organizers estimate the 2015 races will need more than double the infrastructure to handle the nearly 500,000 people expected during the nine-day event.

"It's also been a great test for the community at large at how to handle traffic patterns and get around," Richmond 2015’s Lee Kallman said.

The course college athletes tackled Sunday was nearly identical to ones the world-class road racers will see next year.

As a result, if your favorite restaurant was blocked off this year, you can expect the same in 2015. However, even though Kuba-Kuba was blocked to traffic, Tea Thrower said they did not take much of a hit.

"We're a little slower, but we've been rocking since 9 a.m. this morning," she said.

While the financial impact from Richmond 2015 is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the cycling community said Richmond’s logistical test appears to have been successful.

"I think it's going to be a great event.  I think the world is going to have a great time here.  They're going to go away with a wonderful memory for an event in Richmond," USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson said.