After months of planning, fundraising efforts and coordination with the City of Allentown and Salisbury Township, Sparta Cycling, Inc. announced Friday that the Allentown stage of the Univest Grand Prix is cancelled due to lack of funding.
"This was not an easy decision or one that was taken lightly," said John D. Eustice, Univest Grand Prix race promoter and president of Sparta Cycling, Inc. "Despite tremendous support from the City of Allentown and Salisbury Township and a strong interest from the community, the current economic conditions are preventing the race's return."
"I want to thank Mayor Ed Pawlowski, the Salisbury Township commissioners and other local officials for their support, and if economic conditions improve we will definitely look to bring Allentown back into the Univest Grand Prix in future years."
Now in its 13th year, the Univest Grand Prix will return to a two-day event format with the first day in Souderton on Saturday, September 11 and the second in Doylestown on Sunday, September 12.
"While we regret losing Allentown for 2010, we take great pride in knowing we are still bringing the Univest Grand Prix to Souderton and Doylestown," said Eustice. "This is only possible because of the enormous support from Univest Corporation - the title sponsor of the event since its inception in 1998 - and the dozens of other businesses providing support throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties. The Souderton and Doylestown area communities have embraced this event and held festivals, hosted riders, invited cyclists into schools and volunteered to give back on race weekend. These collective efforts fueled the Univest's success and helped us earn our prestigious reputation in the cycling community as one of the best races of the year."
Not unlike the Allentown stage of the Univest Grand Prix, professional cycling events have been hit hard this past year, leaving only four remaining on the USA Pro Cycling Tour: the Amgen Tour of California, Tour of the Battenkill, TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship, and the Univest Grand Prix. Races canceled in 2010 include the Tour of New York, the Tour of Missouri and the US Open of Cycling.