Peace Race 2007 cancelled

By Susan Westemeyer

The Peace Race has been cancelled for 2007, it was announced Wednesday morning. Tour Director Herbert Notter and the Czech cycling federation reached the decision based on the withdrawal of Skoda as the main sponsor, and the corresponding lack of 250,000 Euros. In addition, the federation withdrew the right to organise the race from the Agentur Cyclistka and its manager, Cestmir Kalas.

In a press release, Notter said, "The Federation has paid over 100,000 Euros for expenses for the 58th Peace Race, which Mr. Kalas actually should have paid. In addition, Mr. Kalas as tour director failed to inform me that Skoda had already announced in September that it would not extend its sponsorship." In October, Notter still believed that Skoda would remain a sponsor, and announced the continuation of the race in 2007.

However, the organisers have not give up hope for future races. Notter said that there are plans in the works for a five-year contract, from 2008 to 2012, including clarifications of the powers of the tour manager. "I don't want to have the power over details, but also in such things as sponsoring, the route, partners, and so on." He also foresaw one overall organisation for the race, which runs through several countries, and not separate management groups for every country. "Problems that occurred in 2006 and before should not happen again. The whole direction of all aspects should lay in one hand," Notter said.

Concrete plans are expected to be announced in two to three months.

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