Houffalize may have to cancel 2010 World Cup mountain bike race

Financial shortfall threatens Belgian race

The World Cup mountain bike round in Houffalize, Belgium, scheduled for May 1-2, 2010, will most likely not be held, due to financial shortfalls. The news is expected to be announced officially on Monday night.

The Houffalize Commune is expected to cancel the race due to an 80,000 euro shortfall, according to the Belgian website Actu24.be. The city "will not bear the burden alone," said Mayor Mark Capri. The race would be cancelled entirely "unless we have the promise of support" from additional sponsors.

Houffalize is the only round of the World Cup in Belgium, and the Belgian Cycling Federation was surprised by the news.  "But if we cannot ride in Houffalize, then we will go looking for another location that wants to organise a mountain bike race," said Federation Vice President Thierry Marechal.

Spaniard Margarita Fullana and Frenchman Julien Absalon won the 2009 round of the World Cup in Houffalize.  The round is a popular one among racers and historically attracts large numbers of spectators.

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