By Tim Maloney, European Editor
John Eustice of New York's Sparta Cycling has unveiled the 2005 Tour of Connecticut, a tough three day stage race in Northwest Connecticut from May 20-22. "Sparta is very happy to be able to promote this race again in 2005; I believe that this year's edition will be even tougher than the 2004 race. Presented by the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, the '05 Tour of Connecticut has stages in New Haven, Waterbury and Torrington and will be televised nationally on Outdoor Life Networks’s Cyclism Sunday TV series and also be broadcast locally on Connecticut’s WCTX-UPN."
Sponsor Jim Whitney, Director of the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau said: "We are delighted to be the principle sponsor of the 2005 Tour of Connecticut and are committed to the long term growth of this great cycling event. We are certain that it will contribute greatly to raising awareness of the Northwest corner of the state as an outdoor recreational destination."
Eustice ran down the three stages for Cyclingnews, explaining "the action gets underway on Friday May 20 at 6pm with a fast criterium around the Green in New Haven. The circuit is an ultra fast 900 meter loop that's almost like a velodrome. The next day, Saturday May 21, is a real change of pace for the Tour of Connecticut peloton. It's the Waterbury Climbers’ Cup, a very hard 62 mile race that one of the most difficult on the NRC circuit. The circuit climbs for 1.5 miles of its 4-mile length in a twisting and turning course that will blow the field to pieces. Plus, the Waterbury race has become a real citywide celebration, with block parties and rock bands that cheer on the racers."
As a fitting replacement for his Housatonic Classic, Eustice has come up with another testing, European-style race to cap the Tour of Connecticut's final stage. "This one is a real epic", proudly explained Eustice, a former pro cyclist who is two-time USPRO champ and has competed in the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España. "The final stage of the Tour of Connecticut is a very hard 135 mile race that has an initial 116 mile loop through beautiful Litchfield County, with quaint New England towns and plenty of long, very steep climbs. For the finale, stage three of the Tour of Connecticut re-enters the host city of Torrington for another 20 miles on fast finishing circuits in downtown Torrington." Currently confirmed pro teams for the 2005 Connecticut Tour are Navigators Insurance, Jittery Joe's, Webcor Builders and defending 2004 winners Team Colavita/Sutter Home, with invited amateur teams include TIAA - CREF and Fiordifrutta Cycling Team.
Another feature of the final stage of the 2005 Tour of Connecticut, is a 62 mile 'Cyclosportif' public ride on Sunday, May 22 to benefit the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society of Connecticut. Eustice told us that "Cyclosportif riders will start ten minutes after the pros on Sunday and then chase them over the first thirty-five miles of the race, before heading back to Torrington. Rob Gerowe, Campaign Director of the regional chapter of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society is enthusiastic about the new partnership: "We are honoured to be part of an event that will help us in our mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of our patients and their families."
For more information please go to: www.tourofct.com