The Deschutes Brewery Cup UCI cyclo-cross weekend scheduled for December 6-7 in Bend, Oregon, has been canceled, organizers of the race announced today.
“I have not been able to find a sponsor for it, number one,” said race director Brad Ross. “And number two: Deschutes Brewery has some construction slated to start right about that time, and there's going to be all kinds of survey work going on, and we just weren't able to nail down exactly when all that stuff was going to start happening or whether the race was going to get in the way of all that. It was looking like survey crews and bike racers were going to be stepping on each others toes.”
Ross said Deschutes Brewery, where the race takes place, was willing to work around the construction issues, but that uncertainty, combined with the lack of sponsorship dollars, made putting the race on untenable.
The weekend was to feature two UCI C2 races as part of USA Cycling's Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar. The weekend would have provided one of the few opportunities for West Coast riders to earn the UCI points that are now required for a starting spot at the national championships in Austin, Texas, this January. The NBX Grand Prix of Cross in Warwick, Rhode Island, is the only other UCI/Pro CX race that weekend.
The Deschutes Brewery Cup was a single UCI C1 race last year, with a local Cross Crusade race the following day. Ross said running the UCI race in conjunction with the Cross Crusade, which brings in more than 1,000 riders over all categories each day, helped boost the sponsorship for the UCI event.
“[Last year] was basically a Cross Crusade event with all the same sponsors,” Ross said. “But I didn't have any one sponsor that stepped up and said, 'Yeah, I want to put my name on that event exclusively and here's some money for that.' Deschutes Brewery has always provided the venue for free and also a limitless supply of prizes. Last year they did give us some money, which was great, but that's really the only sponsor that I've been able to bring in for this thing.”
As to whether the race will return for 2015, Ross said it's possible, but he won't be the organizer.
“For me, personally, and for the Cross Crusade crew, we really shouldn't have filled out the paperwork for this again,” he said. “But the venue is there and Deschutes Brewery likes the event to be there except for this construction that's going on. The city likes the event, and I know that racers like the event, so I'm holding out hope that next year somebody else will take up the mantle and put an event on there.”