IDAHO — Along with the Twilight Criterium, more exciting competitions will happen in the Treasure Valley this weekend. For the first time ever, the Challenged Athletes Foundation of Idaho is hosting four Paralympics National Championship events July 9-11.
“I think it is fantastic. For one it is great for our cycling community, and to come out here and showcase the area for the cyclists all throughout the country will be fantastic," Will Groulx, who will be competing in Para-Cycling Nationals said. "Cycling is just a very inclusive adaptive sport, so you will see all manners of bikes out this weekend."
The para-events include a time trial, criterium, relay, and road race.
“Seeing it come here is amazing especially with everything that has happened over the last couple of years, is just amazing to have everyone together competing and here locally in a place I have fallen in love with,” Josh Sweeney, who will also be competing in Para-Cycling Nationals said.
Sweeney, a Paralympian, Purple Heart recipient, and double leg amputee moved to Idaho to be a part of the adaptive community and the competitive opportunities CAF-Idaho is providing.
“Seeing the adaptive community come together here is really what I saw potentially happening here before I even moved here, and it is one of the main reasons I decided to move here because it is such a strong adaptive community," Sweeney said. "There is such amazing support for adaptive athletes and there is the ability to be able to do stuff like this that you can't get anywhere else.”
Groulx, a veteran and six-time Paralympic medalist competing with quadriplegia, along with Sweeney are just two of the Boise-based elite cyclists competing in Para-Nationals.
“I’m pretty excited to see how I stack up against all the amazing talent that is going to be here this weekend,” Sweeney said.
The best para-cyclists in the country will travel to the Treasure Valley for the last competitive race in the states before a lot of them head to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
“It’s my first race that I did in almost two years was at our Paralympic Trials in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago so yeah I am kind of chomping at the bit just to get as much racing in as I can before Tokyo,” Groulx said.
Here's the weekend's schedule:
Friday, July 9
- Time Trial National Championship*, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, Glenns Ferry High School
- Adaptive Cycling Clinic, 12:00 pm-5:00 pm, Boise State University Health Sciences Riverside
- Twilight Trifecta Cycling Celebration Community Event, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm, JUMP Boise
Saturday, July 10
- Crit National Championship*, 11:00 am, Idaho State Capitol
- Kids Ride with Kristen Armstrong and Muffy Davis, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm, Idaho State Capitol
- Relay National Championship*, 6:00 pm, Idaho State Capitol
Sunday, July 11
- Road Race National Championship*, 8:00 am-12:00 pm, Melba Senior Center
- Closing Ceremonies, 5:30 pm-8:00 pm, Boise Zoo
* All U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Championship events available via live stream at usacrits.com
In addition, the weekend will also include a cycling celebration, an adaptive cycling clinic, and an inclusive kid ride featuring Olympians Kristen Armstrong and Muffy Davis.
We will have more coverage of Para-Nationals throughout this week and the weekend, so stay tuned!
For more information, head to challengedathletes.org/para-road-nationals.