KNOXVILLE (WATE) – To be the best, you have to beat the best right?
With the Super Bowl of USA Cycling rolling into Knoxville this weekend, I decided to test out the toughest part of the course situated just south of Downtown Knoxville, across from the Tennessee River. USA Cycling Pro Road Race Announcer Jon Crowson road with me to show me the ropes.
“The hill, it is very difficult,” said Crowson. “It gets up to 13 percent grade which is really, really steep. It’s also not that short of a hill.”
Sherrod Road will meet cyclists with a half of a mile of “no, thank you” that stretches over 1,100 feet of elevation. I found that out the hard way.
I could feel the hill in my back, legs, arms and lungs. At one point I had to get up and walk my bike up a section of the hill.
Crowson said if it is raining, spectators could see some people running their bikes up the hill, which is legal.
While some may see the hill as a disadvantage, Justin Oien is competing in the men’s road race on Sunday is hoping to use the hill to his advantage.
“Definitely I think this is a good hill for me. I’m excited to race on it. Think it will give me an opportunity to show my strengths,” said Oien.
Ok, after some, blood, sweat and tears I made it up the hill. While I didn’t quite conquer Sherrod Road, I have so much more respect for this sport.
You can see USA Cyclists going up Sherrod Road for the pro men’s and women’s road race on Sunday. The women’s race starts at 9:00 a.m. and the men’s race starts at 1:15 p.m.