By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The Cascade Cycling Classic, scheduled for July 11-15, announced today that it is postponing its women's event until 2008, due to a scheduling conflict with USA Cycling's elite nationals.
"We put our bid out for NRC calendar spot in October," race director Chad Sperry told Cyclingnews. "But we didn't find out until January when USA Cycling released their [dates for] nationals. We immediately contacted USAC, and they said they would absolutely not move their date. We were pigeon holed by our prize money and sponsors, so we could not do anything."
The USA Cycling time trial national championship race for the elite women falls on Friday, July 13, and the road race is scheduled for Monday, July 16.
Sperry said the decision to cut the women's category from the race was not made lightly which is why it is only being announced now. "We had two registrants as of yesterday -- and no pro teams were going to come."
"The year before the elite nationals were the weekend before, and we got a decent field," he said, adding that the race was looking to improve the women's category this year. "We actually added a day and boosted prize money for this year."
Sperry also said that a similar problem should not happen again in 2008. "We have talked with USA Cycling, and they have assured us that we have their support for next year and there will not be another scheduling conflict with elite nationals."
Despite the setback, the race for the men will continue and looks to be quite a battle with the overall individual and team NRC competitions closer than ever. Sperry said teams like Navigators Insurance, Health Net-Maxxis, Priority Health, Kodak Gallery, and Toyota-United, with defending champion Chris Wherry, will all be in attendance.