As Richmond rolls out its welcome mat to the world, local businesses are likewise welcoming the UCI Road World Championships to town – in different ways.
Among the most visible is WestRock Corp., which this week unfurled a giant banner on its downtown building facing the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. The bridge is part of the course for one of several time trials to be held over the nine-day event, which kicks off Saturday.
The banner, which declares “The world rides in Richmond” below an image of two cyclists and the WestRock logo, was put up just weeks after WestRock took down its previous building signage, marking an end to its chapter as MeadWestvaco.
Other businesses are making big statements, as well. Newcomer Stone Brewing Co. has said it will paint a rooftop mural on the Intermediate Terminal building on Wharf Street, which will one day house its beer garden and restaurant. The California-based company is currently building its East Coast facilities in Fulton Hill.
Elsewhere around town, various businesses and restaurants are welcoming participants with messages and artwork. A sandwich board outside Perly’s Restaurant and Delicatessen tells passersby: “Enjoy the ride, then come inside; welcome UCI,” while Strawberry Street Cafe has added bike race-related artwork to its windows.
Richmond 2015, the group organizing the race, was putting the final preparations together Thursday. At East Broad and Fifth streets – ground zero for the event – workers were busy setting up tents and other structures surrounding the start and finish line. Companies involved in the massive setup include Colorado-based Orangeguy Fence and Truss, regionally based Don’s Johns Sanitation Services, and Richmond-based Hurricane Fence Co.
The UCI Road World Championships take place Sept. 19-27.