Downtown Block party kicks off with hundreds of cyclists for U.S.A Cycling celebrating

Maryland

The annual block party took over Hagerstown’s Downtown Square and this year the city welcomed cyclists from the first National Cycling Championship to be held in Maryland.

People geared up in the heart of Downtown Hagerstown for the annual block party on West Baltimore Street cheering on participants in the first National Cycling Championship to be held in the city of Hagerstown. 

“Cycling is really fun,” said 13-year-old Homare Yamashita.

The four day, age-graded Junior National Championship is for ages 11 to 23. Hagerstown saw 500 riders over the course of the weekend and 200 volunteers. On the last day, cyclists go through a course just over a kilometer long and do multiple laps right in Downtown Hagerstown.  

“The community has fantastic roads,” said Chuck Hodge, Vice President of Operations for U.S.A Cycling. “The city, county and hospitality industry have all been really good here and really happy to be here and bring people into town.” 

Homare Yamashita competed two years ago and came back this time around stronger. 

“This year I’m actually really proud of myself because I was in the top 10,” said Yamashita. 

Volunteers like resident Ling Louie say he’s just glad to show his support. 

“It’s nice to see it in a different way that most people see it during the week,” said Louie. 

Madeline Smith started as a triathlete and has already competed in her fifth road nationals. 

“It’s the race that everybody trains for each year.  Everybody is hoping that they could have a spot on the podium.  You trained all year for this and hopefully it can pay off, you know,” said Smith.  

As a spectator being up close to the action or as rider taking those tight turns, the racing is an incredible experience for all. 

Organizers say, locals should expect the National Championships to be back in Washington County in July of next year. 
 

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