LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some may think about the Kentucky Derby or college sports when it comes to athletics in the commonwealth, but several national athletic competitions are attracting high-caliber athletes and fans to the state.

What You Need To Know

  • Cyclists from all over the country are visiting Louisville for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

  • National athletic events are impacting local businesses 

  • According to Kentucky Tourism, visitors brought in about $13 billion to the state's economy in 2022 

At Louisville's Joe Creason Park this weekend, cyclists from all over the country are on the course at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.

A few miles away from the off-road cycling event, Jimmy Flaherty, owner of Parkside Bikes, said the impact of this event flows beyond the course markers. 

“People that race bikes tend to be a little unprepared," Flaherty said. "So they need parts; they need service. This whole week, we've had people coming in and needing things done to their bikes or parts for their bikes or all of the above." 

The Louisville native has had a passion for bikes for most of his life. He said national and world-caliber events allow him to share his knowledge with visitors.

“We get to meet people from all over the country, share local cycling routes with them, share places that we like to eat and drink and whatnot," Flaherty said. "It's all about the cycling community, so it really helps grow everything." 

Louisville is also hosting 2023 NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship semifinals and finals and the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.

The events not only boost the local economy but also help inspire the next generation of athletes.

“When we learned that it was going to be here in Louisville, we got really excited because it's essentially our backyard," said Marissa Doner, president of Indianapolis-based youth cycling team Midwest Devo. "We travel here and Cincinnati all the time, so we really wanted to prioritize getting as many kids here for a full experience."

According to Kentucky Tourism, visitors brought in about $13 billion to the state's economy in 2022. 

The USA Cyclocross National Championships will continue through Sunday, Dec. 10.