The 2009 Priority Health Tour de Leelanau has been cancelled due to the global downturn. Organisers Iceman Promotions said the economic crisis had caused sponsors of the annual European-style road race in northern Michigan to tighten their belts.
"This development is disappointing but not completely unexpected," said race director Steve Brown. "All of our planning was on track until everything fell apart in October and the last quarter of the year. It's like losing a good friend. I've enjoyed every aspect of the Tour de Leelanau, especially working with the Leelanau County community, sponsors, volunteers, cyclists, officials and the media. I'll miss it terribly."
The Tour's title sponsor, Priority Health, has suspended its sponsorship of all cycling races in 2009. This also affects the Priority Health Cycling Classic events in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.
"The races have been a great success in their respective communities, providing a significant boost to local merchants," said the health insurance company's Amy Miller. "They also were very effective at reinforcing the Priority Health brand. Unfortunately, current economic realities simply prohibit our continued investment in these races."