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Organizers cite conflict with new Tour of Utah dates
The Tour of Elk Grove will no longer be held, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson has announced. He put the blame on USA Cycling and the UCI for causing scheduling conflicts with the Tour of Utah.
In a letter published in the Daily Herald on Sunday, Johnson said that the extension of the Tour of Utah dates would conflict with Elk Grove, making it too difficult for them to attract top riders.
"Therefore, after much thought and with a heavy heart, we are left no alternative but to cease the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove," Johnson wrote. "We have always promised that we will only run our cycling event at the highest level and we are greatly disappointed in having to make this decision to end the race."
The three-day Tour of Elk Grove has traditionally ended on a Sunday, with the Tour of Utah starting the following Tuesday, which allowed teams to participate in both. "Teams could come and race our race, leave Sunday night, fly out to Utah, have that Monday to set up and train a little bit, and then race on Tuesday.”
The Tour of Utah, however, wanted to add another stage, and to accommodate them, USA Cycling and the UCI agreed to let the race start on Monday.
"We know if they start Monday, it's impossible for teams to go from Elk Grove straight to Utah to race (the next day)," Johnson said.
It was suggested that Elk Grove move its date, but officials are unwilling to do so. "We have been the first weekend of August all the time, in our eight years of running the race," he said, adding that the dates were selected to avoid conflicts with the start of the school year and other local events.
USA Cycling responded to the statement in a press release that stated it had tried to offer alternatives, but the Elk Grove organisation refused. "Some of the options discussed included: moving the date closer to the Philadelphia Cycling Classic in June to create more synergy for inviting teams to both events; moving their dates back one day and expanding on the already successful women’s race; and possibly changing to a UCI 2.2 level race that could accommodate more domestic elite and professional teams. It is disappointing that the Tour of Elk Grove was unwilling to consider these alternatives."