The Tri-Cities’ largest cycling event, the Carter County Omnium, will return June 4-5 and feature racers from 25 states and as far away as Australia.

The three-race event offers cash prices of more than $12,000 and is highlighted by the 37th annual Carter County Roan Groan, the premier road race in the area with its unique mountaintop finish at Carver’s Gap.

The event includes the Ballad Health Time Trial, a 3.2-mile ride with a 1-mile climb in the Temple Hill area of Unicoi County, and concludes with the Carter County Bank Criterium, which covers a half-mile course in downtown Elizabethton and goes by the historic covered bridge.

Steven Bassett, the two-time reigning Omnium champion, is competing in Europe and won't return this year.

The Knoxville rider swept both the Roan Groan, which he won for a third time, and the Omnium last season. He also swept those races in 2019 and last year he capped his victories by also winning the Criterium.

”Roan Groan is without a doubt Tennessee’s most iconic course," Bassett said in a news release Thursday. "It’s always a pleasure to race up Roan Mountain. Great races are hard to come by these days and the Carter County Omnium has held its place as one of the best races in the country.”

Mitchell Hopkins, the defending Masters 40+ division, will return.

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In 2021, 338 racers from 25 states competed. Pro riders have come from Colombia, Italy, Great Britain and New Zealand to compete. This year, Australia's Devraj Grewal will be racing.

The unique challenge that is the Roan Groan is a great lure.

For the Pro 1/2 category, the race goes from Elizabethton’s Cat Island Park to Carver’s Gap with 80 miles of terrain in Carter and Unicoi counties. The race finishes with a 7.5-mile, 2,584-foot Category-1 climb; the total climb is 9,747 feet.

For the Women’s Pro 1/2, a 55-mile course features 7,020 feet of climbing. 

For the lower category riders, the Roan Groan short course is 30 miles with 4,040 feet of climbing.

Registration is open on the Carter County Omnium website.

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