Not all surroundings will be the same for the Johnson City Omnium’s 14th year.
Moved from late May to mid-August because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the two-day event will conclude in Downtown Elizabethton rather than its customary location: Downtown Johnson City. Details regarding these changes as well as new policies concerning the coronavirus can be found online at jcomnium.com.
Two of the races will follow the same routes from previous years. On Saturday, Aug. 15, racers compete in the Carter County Roan Groan, which takes riders on as many as 80 miles and almost 10,000 feet of climbing.
Later in the day will be the Ballad Health Time Trail in Unicoi County. This 3-mile course features a 1-mile climb.
The final race in the series takes place on Sunday, Aug. 16. Spectators are encouraged to line the streets in Downtown Elizabethton to see the action up close at the Fat Tire Criterium. This course is expected to be even faster than the Johnson City course and organizers anticipate plenty of action.
Early registration for the Johnson City Omnium, which is known for its challenging nature, recently closed with a 45% increase over last year’s early registration. Representing 19 states, these early registrants also indicate an increase in the number of highly competitive fields. There are three current national champions, four returning Omnium winners from last year and the 2018 Omnium Pro/Am winner.
“With all of the races either being postponed or canceled, it’s both refreshing and motivating knowing that a race as popular, and hard, as Johnson City is still going to be happening,” said Pro/Am racer and current National Road Champion Luca Scuriatti.
The 17 year-old from Washington, D.C., added: “I am really looking forward to the road race in particular, as I’ve never done a race with over 9,000 feet of climbing!”
Proceeds from the event go to the Science Hill High School NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) racing team, Northeast Tennessee Cycling NICA racing team, Johnson City Morning Rotary Foundation, Milligan Women’s Elite Cycling and Carter County Amateur Radio Club.