The Fort Collins-based elite amateur cycling team has qualified for US Pro Nationals taking place this week in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Rio is sending 8 racers down South and will have riders in the time trial, road race and criterium.

Read on for more info via:

The Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team has qualified for US Professional Road National Championships June 17th-20th in Knoxville, Tennessee! Read on below for our roster announcements, details on the courses, and how you can tune in and watch live!

As a domestic elite cycling team, Rio normally gets an invitation to amateur national championships, but this year have qualified for professional road national championships. Rio will go head to head with Continental, Pro Continental, and World Tour teams for the coveted stars and stripes jersey.

The Rio will be bringing 8 riders to Knoxville, with an average age of 26. The roster is packed with riders that are experienced in the art of the breakaway, and have a pretty mean kick to the line. They’ll be looking to punch above their weight, and show what Colorado racers are made of! Thankfully, the Colorado heat has kicked into high gear the last week to help prep our riders for the heat in Knoxville. The team leaves Monday, June 14th, with half of the team returning to Colorado the following Monday and the other half continuing on to Tour of America’s Dairylands.

Quote from Team Manager Rees York “It’s really exciting to be able to show our Rio Red on the national stage. I think we’ll really surprise some people with how well our team can position themselves well in the criterium, and show our grit in the road race. The fellas have really been putting the miles in and are ready to take on the rest of the pack.”

2021 Roster:

Time Trial: Matti Rowe
Criterium & Road Race: Alex Marr, Brett Rindt, Chaz Hogenauer, Henry York, James Hilyer, Matti Rowe, Peter Behm, Tayne Andrade

What Our Riders Are Saying About Nationals:

What are your personal goals at Nats?
Peter Behm: My goal is to have fun, take in the experience, and perform as the best athlete I possibly can.”
Tayne Andrade: “Send some glory laps in the crit, and try and be one of the top non pros in the road race.”

What are you most looking forward to at Nats?
Matti Rowe: “
Eating southern food, mosquitoes, and humidity.”
Henry York: “I am looking forward to racing at the highest level of competition in the US and soaking in the historic atmosphere.”

How Can You Follow Along?

WATCH LIVE: You can watch both the Criterium and Road Race LIVE on (subscription required)

FOLLOW US: On Instagram and Facebook for updates each day!

The Courses:

June 17th – Time Trial – 10am CT Start – Course Link
The ITT will be held on a 6.9-mile section of roadways that traverse along the banks of Melton Lake and the internationally-acclaimed Oak Ridge Rowing venue in Oak Ridge, just 30 minutes west of downtown Knoxville.
June 18th – Criterium – 7:45pm CT Start – Course Link

The Criterium will be held under the lights of downtown Knoxville, with the start and finish on Gay Street. The 1.1-mile circuit is fast, short, and technical. Athletes will race for a set amount of time and then a specific number of finishing laps. The women will race for a maximum of 75 minutes and the men will race for a maximum of 90 minutes.
June 20th – Road Race – 1:15pm CT Start – Course Link

The peloton returns to downtown Knoxville with some exciting new additions. As with the Crit, the Road Race course will start and finish on Gay Street, allowing for incredible viewing experiences. The 7.9-mile route will cover familiar territory, crossing the Tennessee River via the iconic Gay Street Bridge, traversing the signature climb up Sherrod Street, and using the James White Parkway to return downtown through Knoxville’s historic Old City.

A new challenge for the athletes will be a punchy climb at the end of each circuit on Clinch Avenue to reach the start/finish. The women will race 9 laps, for a total distance of 71 miles, and the men will complete 15 laps for a total distance 118.5 miles.