Rome, Georgia to Host First Domestic UCI Handcycling Race, April 22-24, 2009

Feb. 04, 2009, 1:16 p.m. (ET)
ROME, Ga. - The City of Rome, the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau and U.S. Handcycling will host the 4th Annual Clocktower Classic, April 22-24 in the Rome and Floyd County area. The event will again be a major component of the prestigious U.S. Handcycling Series, but will carry a new honor in 2009, as the only race in the series with the additional status of being a part of the UCI Calendar. The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) is based in Aigle, Switzerland and is recognized by the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees as the global governing body for competitive cycling. The organization assumed responsibility and management of Paralympic Cycling (which includes handcycling) in 2008, and has included the Georgia race as a P1-level race for the first-ever international Para-Cycling Calendar, which offers all participants an opportunity to earn points toward international ranking.

The inclusion of the Clocktower Classic is a natural one, according to U.S. Handcycling Executive Director, Ian Lawless: "When we found out about the new UCI International calendar, the Clocktower Classic was an easy choice for us to put forward as our recommendation for an American's incredibly popular among the athletes, the Local Organizing Committee is top-notch, and Rome is close to Atlanta which will attract a lot of top European racers."

Now in its fourth year, the Clocktower Classic is widely recognized as the premier handcycling race in the Eastern United States, and is one of only a few events in the U.S. Handcycling Series that includes all three road disciplines: Time Trial, Road Race, and Criteirum. Although the Clocktower Classic grew out of the Tour de Georgia, with the handcycling criterium first appearing at the end of Stage 2 in 2005, the event now stands on its own as a world-class bike race.

"Cycling as a sport has been embraced by the community of Rome. The relationships that we have built with the athletes while coordinating this race, has made this event one that both athletes and organizers look forward to each year. How often do you see an Gold medalist racing with an athlete who is participating in their first competition? The encouragement and camaraderie is infectious." saide Ann Hortman, the director of the Clocktower Classic.

For more information about the Clocktower Classic, contact Ann Hortman at the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau: 706.295.5576 or

For more information about the U.S. Handcycling Series, contact Ian Lawless at U.S. Handcycling: 303.459.4159