The McLane Pacific Cycling Classic will not be held in 2007, ending a 14-year spring tradition for the community of Merced, California. For the past several years, the race has held the distinction as the opening weekend for USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC) calendar. The race will cease because it cannot increase its operating budget to meet the recently revised NRC guidelines from the American cycling federation.
The event started 14 years ago as a fundraiser for the United Way and over the years has donated well over $100,000 to the charity said the promoter. With that goal in mind, the event committee scurried to fill the gap between what McLane Pacific had offered each year and what was needed.
After the last option had closed on the morning of Friday, October 20th, the result was clear. "Over the history of the race, we have never ended an edition with a financial deficit," said co-race director and race founder Doug Fluetsch. "Not knowing without a doubt that we would be able to operate the race at the level we want to, without a financial burden, it is not possible to continue."
"McLane Pacific has been a wonderful sponsor to work with. A handshake was all we ever had and all we ever needed during the 14 years. They always honored their word, and we always honored ours with the community of Merced. It is sad to see it come to an end, but if we cannot continue at a high level with the NRC, it is time to stop."
The promoter says McLane Pacific did offer to continue to sponsor the event at the level of the previous years, but that level was not enough to meet the requirements currently set by USA Cycling.
See also; the 2006 McLane Pacific Cycling Classic