Plenty of “spokespersons” descend upon Davidson County each July for a premier three-day bicycling road race.
THE Piedmont Triad Omnium is a USA Cycling-sanctioned event that welcomes about 300 top bicyclists every summer. A competitive race takes place on a Friday night, one occurs on Saturday morning, one Saturday night and one Sunday afternoon.
“The omnium was originally planned as a two-day event, but Davidson County officials suggested stretching it to three days so that competitors would spend two nights in hotel rooms, thereby contributing tourism dollars,” says Jim Martin, president of THE Piedmont Triad Omnium Inc. “The first omnium in 2008 raised about $18,000, and the 2009 event raised $25,000. It continues to build in momentum.”
An omnium is three or more cycling races of different disciplines. The Friday night portion features competitors racing laps in Uptown Lexington around a 3/4-mile closed oval course, and the Saturday morning activity involves individual time trials around a 12-mile loop that begins at Davidson County Community College.
The third phase of competition involves two-person street sprint races on Saturday night in Uptown Lexington, and Sunday features a long road race that begins at DCCC.
“The omnium is promoted as a healthy and competitive event, but it is also a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society,” Martin says. “My wife was diagnosed with MS about 10 years ago, and I just wanted a different way to raise money for the National MS Society. I’ve participated in dozens of bike races in my time, and I must say that the Davidson County event is very well run. The roads in Davidson County are excellent for bike racing.
“The races promote a healthy lifestyle, all while raising money that will hopefully contribute toward finding a cure for such a debilitating disease,” he says.
For more information, visit www.thepiedmonttriadomnium.com