By Travis Miller
June 6, 2014. Every summer, hundreds of cyclists gather in Elizabethton to challenge Roan Mountain as they race up its peak in the annual Roan Groan. This year’s 30th Tupelo Honey Roan Groan will be held on June 7 as part of the Johnson City Omnium two-day bicycle racing event.
The race will feature more than 400 participants, amateurs and professionals, who will compete for a share of a more than $3500 purse.
It will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 7, leading multiple divisions of racers through two different courses up Roan Mountain.
The Pro 1, 2, 3 and Elite Masters divisions will race on a 55-mile course that climbs 5775 feet and all other divisions will race on a 30-mile course that climbs 4639 feet. Both courses feature the same 7% incline final climb to the top of Roan Mountain.
Just before the start of the event will be a presentation for Gary Nave of Nor-Well, who sponsored the first sanctioning of the event thirty years ago, making the Roan Groan the oldest continually sanctioned race in Tennessee.
Late registration is available on the evening of Friday, June 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. during packet pickup, which will be at the Holiday Inn in Elizabethton. There is no on-site registration on the day of the race.
The Roan Groan has been a part of the Johnson City Omnium, which is presented by the Tri Cities Road Club, since 2006 and now serves as the first race of the Omnium’s three-part racing event.
The second race in the Omnium will be the Tupelo Honey Time Trial, which begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 at Temple Hill Road in Erwin. Racers will measure their individual completion times on the 3.5-mile course
The final race, held on Sunday, June 8, will be the Franklin Woods Community Hospital Criterium, a race through the streets of downtown Johnson City. Different divisions will race the course at different times. The Juniors division will begin at 8 a.m. followed by the Masters 40+,50+ and 60+ divisions at 8:30 a.m and the Elite Masters at 11:35 a.m. The Tupelo Honey Kids Fun Race, for kids age 3 to 9, runs one lap of the course and will begin at 2:10 p.m. The main event Pro 1-2 racers will begin the race at 2:30 p.m. and race for one hour.
For rules, regulations and more in-depth information on the Roan Groan and the Johnson City Omnium, visit PCPOmni.Wordpress.com.