By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Las Vegas, Nevada
The management behind the recently announced Tour of America, a proposed four-week, 27 stage and 7,000-plus kilometer race in September of 2008 from New York to San Francisco for $11 million in prize money, held a press conference at the Interbike trade show on Thursday to discuss the details of the race. While the main protagonist behind the race idea, Dr. Frank Arokiasamy, Ph.D., exuded confidence throughout the presentation, the assembled media and other interested parties took turns shooting gaping holes through the loosely gathered plans, and coming away with more questions than when they entered.
Upon entering the room, the press corps was handed a three-page information packet with mostly vague details about the race organization, but shockingly detailed information about the entire 27 stages of the race, including both start and finish cities along with dates.
An announcer introduced Arokiasamy, a former economics professor and corporate consultant, as the Tour Director, as well as Richard Dunn and David Mayer-Oakes as race directors. Both Dunn and Mayer-Oakes are former US national team members, with Mayer-Oakes a former junior world champion. After a short opening statement by Arokiasamy, the floor was opened to questions -- of which there were many.