ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Four downtown Elizabethton streets were blocked off Sunday morning as the Milligan Cycling Classic came to a close.
25 schools from across the Southeast came to compete across three disciplines of cycling over the weekend.
It’s the sixth time Milligan has hosted the bike race, but the first time since the pandemic.
The rectangular half-mile course played host to the crit race where speed is the name of the game.
Cyclists typically ride in packs during crit races. Milligan Cycling Head Coach Zack Nave said the tactics during the crit race are similar to motorsports.
Despite the difference in speed, aerodynamics play a big role in who leads and can conserve their energy.
“It’s NASCAR with bicycles,” Nave said. “Every minute it’s a little over a half mile. You’ve got big groups of people that are taking four corners and racing. The guy up front’s doing 100 percent. If you’re behind him and tucked, you’re doing half of what the guy in front of you is doing.”
Saturday featured a much different type of bike racing – time trials and the road race.
Milligan won the time trials in both men’s and women’s categories, and Milligan’s McKayla MacPherson won the women’s road race.
Milligan cyclist Brody McDonald said each cyclist puts in a lot of work to compete at the collegiate level.
“It would probably be three to four hours a day, six to seven days a week and occasional structured practices with the team,” McDonald said.
Five races of varying time lengths were held for each class of rider.
You can find the results here on the Milligan Cycling Team Facebook page.