Loss of major sponsor brings end to national series affiliation
The organizer of the US Pro XCT round in Colorado Springs, Colorado, cancelled its cross country race on Tuesday. The news came less than a week after organizers told Cyclingnews that the race was likely to happen again in 2011, albeit as a one-day UCI-sanctioned race instead of a stage race like in 2010.
"As of February 22nd, the Sand Creek International Classic Pro XCT June 18th race is cancelled," read a statement on the organizer's website.
"The bottom line is that up until last Friday or so at noon, we appeared to have our title sponsorship nailed down," Andy Bohlmann, Race Director for Sand Creek Sports, told Cyclingnews. "Late last Friday, that sponsor pulled the plug."
Bohlmann said the gap in sponsorship left the race $3,200 short of the break even point, and his company didn't want to take that kind of financial risk.
"I didn't have enough to make the checkbook be in the black," said Bohlmann.
A race run by Sand Creek Sports will still happen in Colorado Springs on the weekend of June 18-19, 2011, however the event will not be run as a US Pro XCT round, nor will it be a UCI-sanctioned or USA Cycling-sanctioned race. Bohlmann said his company is still deciding at which venue the race will occur.
"While we would like to greatly thank Kenda USA for stepping up, in the end, we could not find the needed sponsorship locally or nationally to fund this race. A number of people and several marketing firms were helping as well," read the Sand Creek Sports statement. Bohlmann added that he had also appreciated that the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau had offered to increase its sponsorship commitment by 50%.
The statement alluded to other issues affecting the race. "A lack of sponsorship is the main but not the only reason for this cancellation. As always, our e-mail/paperwork trail is flawless, our integrity intact, and our future races secure."
When questioned about the other reason(s), Bohlmann mentioned his strained relations with USA Cycling before adding that he was thankful to the federation for its support.
USA Cycling has not yet commented on the race's cancellation or any implications for the 2011 US Pro XCT.
Read more about the history of the Sand Creek International Classic.
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