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US Open still alive

The new organizer of the US Open Cycling Championship confirmed Wednesday the Virginia event will take place on April 7 despite challenges of finding a last-minute title sponsor and losing its executive director, who resigned last week.

"The U.S. Open Cycling Championship is still a go," said Dick Durishin, president of Red Five Sports Group, Inc. to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Former director Tim Miller resigned because of "financial circumstances within the company. It was not able to support me anymore. I've got a family to think about." Durishin has replaced Miller by hiring John Eustice and his company, Sparta Cycling, to serve as executive director for the event. Eustice has also been a commentator for the Tour de France.

Although the leadership problem is now solved, the search for a title sponsor continues. "I don't know that we're going to find one," Durishin said to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "What is critical is that we have enough sponsors who come on board, regardless of the level, to pay for the event." Yesterday, organizers announced that Anheuser-Busch had signed on as a major, albeit not a title sponsor. Organizers have already lined up two hours of TV coverage.

The elite men are scheduled to race 125 miles from Williamsburg to Richmond, Virginia, while the women will race a course in Richmond prior to the arrival of the men's race.

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