Organisers of the Intelligentsia Cup announced Wednesday that they have cancelled this summer's event due to the risk involved with public gatherings amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Title sponsor, Intelligentsia Coffee, has agreed to roll funding forward to the event schedule for July 16-15, 2021.
"This was an extremely difficult decision to make, particularly after our enormous success in 2019 that saw the series become the largest USA Cycling road event," said series partner Tom Schuler.
In a press statement, organisers said the decision was not taken lightly and included input from venue partners, local municipalities, sponsors and riders. The main priority was the safety of the event's participants, spectators, volunteers, staff and the residents of the communities that host the event each year.
"Since the beginning of this pandemic we have held out hope that the situation would improve enough to hold the Intelligentsia Cup in a safe manner, and we have worked since to find a way forward. Unfortunately, the current facts at hand and expert guidance say otherwise.
"We are grateful to our title sponsor Intelligentsia Coffee for supporting the series by rolling the sponsorship forward to next year. As well, all our sponsors and venues have committed to returning. We hope our riders stay safe and are able to join us next July!"
The Intelligentsia Cup, founded in 2012, brings together competitive bicycle races to the Chicago metro area, and features top-level professional and elite amateur athletes, while also hosting healthy and fun family activities, a lifestyle expo, as well as food and beverage from local vendors.
The event is a USA Cycling-permitted event, but not on longer a part of the Pro Road Tour. The 2019 event hosted on average 124 per day in the pro men's events, and the total number of entries reached 5,336.
American bike racing has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. USA Cycling announced that it extend its suspension of all issued permits for sanctioned events – including USA Cycling races, rides, camps, and clinics – through May 31. More than 775 events sanctioned by USA Cycling have been cancelled or postponed.
The country lost its last UCI-sanctioned race for 2020 on Thursday when the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic was postponed to 2021.
USA Cycling is currently working with its stakeholders, event organizers, and medical experts to develop guidelines and best practices to assist in keeping participants, event staff, volunteers, and the communities where it holds events as safe as possible once riding and racing resumes.
We are sorry to announce that the 2020 edition of the #IntelliCup is canceled due to COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you all next summer when the series returns July 16-25, 2021. For more information & FAQ visit: https://t.co/mgSWZIiFdd pic.twitter.com/jXQqkme6bUMay 27, 2020
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