Organizers of the Richmond Twilight Grand Prix have postponed their event for one year to allow more time to secure sponsorship funding. Organizers will reschedule the event to return to the National Racing Calendar (NRC) event in 2011.
The event is formerly known as CapTech Classic, notorious for its challenging course situated in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The event was canceled four years ago but was scheduled to return this year as the Richmond Twilight Grand Prix on June 10 under the ownership of the CapTech Foundation and managed by 288 Sports Group.
"The postponement to 2011 has to do with management and sponsorship," said Tim Miller, CapTech Foundation's executive director. "We first started planning this event in June 2009. Unfortunately, the original management team that we had in place proved to be the wrong group of people."
"We reorganized in late September, but by that point we were really behind schedule, particularly with regard to sponsorship commitments," he added. "We had some very positive meetings, and there are several companies that want to support the event in a big way, but due to timing and budgets, that just couldn't make it work for 2010."
The criterium was initially schedule to take place on June 3 but was moved to June 10 due to scheduling conflicts before being postponed until 2011.
"When we submitted our date to USA Cycling, we did not realize that it would conflict with Tulsa Tough, and not align with several events on the East Coast," Miller said. "Rather than make teams choose one event or the other, I thought it would be best to move to a later date, also allowing us to align with Rob Layborn's event in [Air Force Cycling Classic] Arlington, and with Philadelphia International Cycling Championships."
Miller aims to bring the event back at the NRC level next year to attract the nation's top professional teams. Both Outdoor Life Network (now Versus TV) and Fox Sports Net have broadcast the event in the past, and organizers are planning for a Versus broadcast in 2011.
"We have a great Executive Committee in place, made up of business, community, and political leaders that are committed to making the event happen in 2011," Miller said. "The intent from the beginning has always been to develop a world-class event, with national TV coverage, a sizeable purse, VIP events, extensive marketing and PR, and numerous ancillary events. That is what we are planning for 2011. We are taking the blue print from the old CapTech Classic and building on it."
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.