Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet) celebrates his victory in the final stage of Paris-Correze.
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Fignon's creation suffers from budget cuts
A creation of former Tour de France champion Laurent Fignon stands to vanish from the European calendar as the Paris-Corrèze organisers announced the race's demise today.
According to La Montagne, the two-day, UCI 2.1 stage race which Fignon founded in 2001 is suffering from a lack of funds after a grant from the general council was reduced and no other sponsor has been found.
All of the preparations for the race had been completed, said the organizer Max Mamers, but the funds were not in place and the race had to be called off. The UCI has removed the race from its European Tour calendar.
"We were alerted to this problem of budget for some time," Mamers said. "We are not surprised by the reduction in the grant, we had been warned. But in past years I have found other partners, but it was impossible to cover a further decline."
Now the race, which was founded by Fignon who has since died of cancer, may follow him to eternity.
"I am very pessimistic [about the future]," Mamers said. "We took a number of years to create and to establish it.
"In general cycling is seeing more deaths than births. When we started it people already thought we were crazy because no new international event was created for 35 years."
The race has had a number of high profile champions: Thor Hushovd (2001), Baden Cooke (2002), Philippe Gilbert (2004) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (2007) won the Paris-Corrèze. Egoitz García (Cofidis) may stand as the event's final champion from 2012.
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