Men's Pro and Cat 1-2 field gets underway in stage 4 of the Merco Cycling Classic, the Almond Blossom Road Race.
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2012 event kicks off March 1
The future of the Merco Cycling Classic has been secured with a new major sponsor found for the popular event held in Merced, California. The news comes following the loss of long-time sponsor, McLane ended their 18-year relationship with the race.
The Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic presented by Mercy Medical Center Merced will grow in 2012 with the continuation of the stage race for the professional men, a three-day points-based omnium for the professional women and a new four-day stage race for the masters. The event will be held March 1-4 in and around the central California town of Merced.
Mercy Medical Center Merced has long been a supporter of the event, having furnished medical support for years and more recently hosting the hospitality tent at the Downtown Grand Prix. Mercy Medical Center Merced will continue to assist with the medical support. The hospitality tent has been turned over to Kirby Manufacturing, a global leader in the manufacturing of cattle feed equipment based in Merced.
"What had begun as a large loss to the race has ended up being a great opportunity for the event to expand existing relationships and bring on new ones. Both Mercy Medical Center Merced and Kirby Manufacturing are outstanding corporate citizens of Merced and it is shown by their outpouring of support to this important community event," said race founder, Doug Fluetsch.
The sponsorship agreement between the event and Mercy Medical Center Merced is set through 2016, while Merco Credit Union has every intention to stay involved for the same amount of time.