By WESLEY HALLMAN | Special to the reporter

The University of Montevallo will set up a college cycling team with a new home trail near the UM campus from autumn 2022.

The members of the cycling team are offered scholarships and head coach Dr. Shawn Mitchell, Associate Professor of Health and Human Sciences at UM.

The university plans to convert the former Montevallo Golf Club into a world-class course that will serve as the team’s home trail. Competitions are regularly held on the course, bringing hundreds of visitors to Shelby County and the city of Montevallo, and boosting the region’s economy.

Upon completion, the new course will also offer a bike shop, a washing station, and storage and work areas for every student-athlete on the team. UM will continue to operate the former golf course’s driving range for members of the local community.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this emerging sport in Montevallo,” said Dr. John W. Stewart III, President of UM. “There is a great deal of enthusiasm on and off campus and we are committed to providing a world class venue that complements existing world class courses in Shelby County and central Alabama.

“We believe our team and facility will bring thousands of new visitors to our campus and community in the years to come. We are also planning to keep the driving range open to the local population and to maintain the university grounds next to the existing residential buildings. “

In addition to the new UM home course just off campus, Montevallo is also close to several highly rated courses including Oak Mountain State Park, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, and Cahaba River Park.

“Adding a college-level cycling program in Montevallo will have a tremendous positive impact on the city of Montevallo and Shelby County,” said Russell Bedsole, District 49 representative at the Alabama House of Representatives. “Athletes and spectators alike will enjoy all that Shelby County has to offer from our extensive trail systems in close proximity to shopping and enjoying the many great shopping and dining options in our county. The future of cycling for Montevallo and Shelby Counties is bright. Cant wait to see everyone on the trails!

Students applying for admission or wanting to learn more about the cycling program can email [email protected] or visit Montevallo.edu/cycling.