‘Everyman’ Eric Marcotte back to defend road cycling title

There will be more riding on this year’s road cycling nationals than usual this weekend.

Sure, the winners of the time trials and road races once again get to wear the stars-and-stripes jerseys for another year. But for the first time since 1986, they will get to wear them for the world championships on U.S. soil when that event comes to Virginia in September.

The national championships begin Saturday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the men’s and women’s time trials. Among the favorites are former champion Tom Zirbel in the men’s event and reigning Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong in the women’s event.

Eric Marcotte will be back to defend his road title on Monday, while the women’s field will be wide open after reigning champion Alison Powers retired last October.