By Susan Westemeyer
Things are looking bleak for the Züri Metzgete, but organiser Michael Ausfeld hasn't yet given up hope of securing additional funds for the ProTour race. "I'm not yet speaking of the end of our race," he told the Neue Züricher Zeitung. "But it's getting tight - we have nothing left but the hope of a lucky punch."
By a "lucky punch" he means a sponsor who would be willing to pump 400,000 Swiss Francs into the 2007 event, due to take place on October 7. He blamed recent doping scandals for difficulty in finding sponsors, but noted that "We, the organisers, can't do anything about the bad reputation of the scene."
Ausfeld had asked the International Management Group (IMG) in January to take over the management of the race. The IMG is led by former pro cyclist Armin Meier and manages, among others events, the Tour du Suisse. However, Meier said on Friday that in light of other obligations, including the 2008 European Football Championships, "it would not be possible for [IMG] to do justice to the race."