By Sean Weide
The second Tour of Puerto Rico (UCI 2.2) was cancelled Tuesday, less than 48 hours before it was scheduled to start after race organizers said sponsorship money could not be secured to hold the event.
Unfortunately, some of the more than 100 riders and 17 teams who were scheduled to start the four-day, five-stage event on Thursday learned of the development after they arrived.
Team Kaos of Nebraska, which competed in the inaugural edition of the race in April of 2005, found out the bad news as it was gathering its bags off the carousel at the airport.
Alexis Cruz, president of the Puerto Rican cycling federation, said race organizers failed to gather about $30,000 needed to cover expenses and prizes.
"The Tour cannot occur," Cruz said. "It's a financial responsibility that the federation cannot assume."
In its inaugural edition in April of 2005, the Tour of Puerto Rico was saddled by logistical problems - including last-minute course changes, inadequate housing for the racers after the longest (104 miles) stage and an opening time trial that drew the ire of San Juan's mayor for causing bringing the morning rush hour to a halt.