USA Cycling National Championships being held in Rock Hill - | WBTV Charlotte

USA Cycling National Championships being held in Rock Hill

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

Could Rock Hill become the next big hub for cycling sports? It's sure shaping up to be.

Rock Hill is currently hosting the USA Cycling National Championships, which is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city's economy.

Cyclists Jackie Simes and Bobby Lea are both Allentown, Pennsylvania and competing in this year's National Championships.

Both are national cycling champions and Lea has even competed in cycling events in the past 2 Olympic Games.

They have competed on tracks around the world and say the Giordana Velodrome Track in Rock Hill is one of the most impressive they've seen.

"I love what they're doing with the track and development here. I think it's really fantastic," said Simes.

"For those of us coming from the northeast, it's just an easy daytrip down here so it's really great for all of us to have this place here," said Lea.

This is third consecutive year Rock Hill has hosted the USA Cycling National Championships at the Velodrome, which opened in 2012 apart of the city's sport complex near the Riverwalk.

Next week, the city will cut the ribbon on its brand new BMX super cross track.

USA Cycling National Events Director Tony Leko says the facilities in Rock Hill are setting a new standard for cycling venues on the east coast.

"You can look around and see the master plan. They just built the BMX super cross track that's huge. They're definitely trying to be an east coast cycling center for this side of the country and it's awesome," said Leko.

"Rock Hill is definitely under the microscope, worldwide, with all the great things we've been doing here at the velodrome and the new BMX track," said Rock Hill Cycling Coordinator Thad Fischer.

Fischer says with the Velodrome picking up popularity amongst the cycling world and the BMX track already slated to host national events projected to bring thousands to the city, the cycling world is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.

Fischer estimates the National Cycling Championships this weekend will rake in around half a million dollars, alone.

"They're buying fuel, they're buying food, and they're buying hotels. There's downtime during the day, so these folks are going out doing shopping and all kinds of things," said Fischer.

Good news for residents whose city may be the best kept secret in the cycling world.

The USA Cycling National Championships wrap up Sunday morning and admission is free.

To find out more about the championships, click here.

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