By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
It may no longer be April Fool's day, but it would be understandable if you thought otherwise as the organizers of the first Tour of America announced on April 2 that their race for 2008 would not materialize. Dr. Frank Arokiasamy, Ph.D., president of Aqu Sports, organizers of the race, had announced previously that last Monday, March 31, would be the go/no-go decision date and apparently the decision was to wait another year.
"After we announced the Tour of America last fall, we hit the ground running to make the event happen in 2008," Arokiasamy said in a press statement. "Everyone we have spoken with wants to see a 'Tour de France-style" race here in the United [sic] We want to work with USA Cycling and UCI to establish this event as a compliment to the major international races, and at the same time not conflict with established races in the United States. Overall, we want to make sure the Tour of America strengthens the sport of cycling and the race calendar. In addition, potential sponsors and route cities have expressed strong support for a fall 2009 race."
Arokiasamy and his partners underwent harsh criticism when announcing their plans at the 2007 Interbike show last September a plan that included extreme stage lengths and unrealistic race routes. This resulted in the group altering its plans a month later, reducing the number and lengths of stages, as well as making route adjustments. However, the new plan was still conceptually difficult to reason, particularly given the short amount of time the group had to make it happen.
The statement went on to say that the race will be on for 2009, but with about the same lack of detail that was ever released about the 2008 edition.