For the past 14 years, River Gorge (Omnium) has morphed into one of the high light races on the southern US cycling calendar thanks to the support of racers, Chattanooga community leadership, our local sponsors, and a dedicated leadership group. Nearly every southern road cyclist to excel at the national level has competed and said River Gorge was among their favorite of any courses across the US. Racers from nearly 30 states traveled to Chattanooga last year.
As road races and time trials have diminished across the country, we have continued to offer unique and challenging courses. With the evolution of this event has come the same challenges that most races face in today’s cycling continuum. Our expenses continue to rise, logistics get more challenging, and pulling in the 100+ required volunteers requires more coordination. Competition with other community events becomes greater and sponsor expectations are even greater.
There are many ways to put on a less challenging, less expensive race. Our feeling is there are plenty of those in the market and not something we have a desire to put our passion towards. This year, we faced a myriad of local challenges that will cause the event to pause and restructure. There will not be a River Gorge Omnium for 2019.
We are already planning for 2020 and seeking out new partners/sponsors to help support an expanded event that features more community involvement and a festival environment with additional community partners benefiting. We want to make the event an even more excited weekend in Chattanooga and bring more value to our sponsors and committed volunteers.
People locally interested in being involved in the next evolution of this event for 2020 or sponsoring should please reach out to [email protected] . Thank you all for the support and know that we believe in this event and are committed to bringing it back better than ever.