Top-level women's racing returns to Idaho with the announcement that the The Exergy Tour international ladies pro cycling event will take place from May 24-28, 2012. The race will be one of the last to provide international ranking points crucial to qualifying for the London Olympic Games. It is sanctioned by USA Cycling and is the only ladies race in North America in 2012 with a 2.1 ranking by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Medalist Sports will oversee the competition and technical production of the Exergy Tour, as well as the development of the local organizing committees in each start and finish venue. Medalist also is the event management arm for the Amgen Tour of California, USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
While the exact state routes are yet to be decided, the five-day stage race will start and finish in Boise. Day two will take place in and around Nampa. From there, teams will race through the high desert of Kuna, then on to the alpine stage of Crouch/Garden Valley and Idaho City, and back to Boise on the final day. Because the host cities are all within an hour's drive of each other, the course enables volunteers and spectators to easily travel to each leg of the race throughout the Memorial Day long weekend.
Official race announcements including the Exergy Tour's list of 10-15 participating teams, charitable partner, prize money and individual stage details will be released over the next four to six weeks.
"The Exergy Tour will showcase the power and excitement of women's professional cycling and its growing global influence, while engaging our communities in teaching young girls the benefits gained through individual and team sports," said James Carkulis, CEO of Exergy Development Group.
"Our vision with the Exergy Tour is to communicate this global message and work with organizations who also are dedicated to advancing the self-confidence, self-esteem and overall well-being of girls and women through physical activity."
Idaho formerly hosted the Women's Challenge from the 1984 before the event dissolved in 2003. The event was the source of the richest prize purse in women's cycling - $125,000.
"I'm thrilled to see such a world-class cycling competition emerge in our community," said Boise Mayor David Bieter. "Boise has long been a training ground for many local Olympians, and it's wonderful to see it become a major hub for premier athletic events. The Exergy Tour will shine the spotlight of international cycling on our city as it attracts some of the best athletes in the world to compete prior to the 2012 Olympics. I encourage all Boise residents to come out and see what promises to be an exciting and inspirational event."