Four months out from the 2015 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, race organiser Liberty Sports has been replaced with G4 Productions following requests for proposals by the City of Philadelphia in June. An email from principals of previous race organisers non-profit Liberty Sports Development group, Richard Adler and Alan Morrison, dated February 9 confirmed the change.
"Effective immediately, Liberty Sports Development is no longer involved with the professional bike race in Philadelphia. The City has decided to take over full financial and operational responsibility of the event," said the Adler/Morrison email.
Adler also confirmed that Liberty Sports Development withheld funds, with sources suggesting the amount to be $200,000, from the city when they heard of the request for proposals, explaining that "the city went radio silent" refusing to return phone calls and e-mails.
The City of Philadelphia announced further details of the 2015 edition of the race which will be known as the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic and will be run June 7.
"Philadelphia has been home to one of the nation's most thrilling and competitive cycling races for 30 years. I am overjoyed that our great cycling tradition is continuing as the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic and I am looking forward to G4 Production's operation and focus on spectator and participant experience in this year's race," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Both an elite men's and women's race will be held with confirmation that women's event will be the first Women's World Cup event in the US since 2001.
"Philadelphia's 30 year history of producing this amazing one-day cycling classic is tremendously important to the nation's pro cycling community and to USA Cycling," said Steve Johnson, President and CEO, USA Cycling, in a statement. "Notably, the equal prize money given to both the men's and women's winners is almost unheard of and helped the city stand apart when the UCI was planning the 2015 Women's World Cup."
New race organiser G4 Productions is run by the race's director the last two years, Robin Morton. In her time as race director, Morton reconfigured the course with the start/finish line at the Manayunk Wall.
Morton is the only female race director in the race's history which was first held in 1985.
Having planned to continue the growth of the race, Adler and Morrison added in their email that they wish the city well and thanked friends, sponsors and supporters for the last two years.
"We were fully devoted to continue growing the event for the future. Unfortunately, with only four months to go, the City has made this decision, effectively removing us from the event," their email read.
"We could not have accomplished so much over the past two years without your support and like-minded vision. For that, we thank you."