And the economy continues to impact bike racing in North America.
Organizers of the Tour of the Battenkill Professional Invitational, scheduled as a Men’s UCI 1.2 event on April 16 in rural New York State, are considering a consolidation with its amateur event on April 10 due to the difficulties in finding a title sponsor for 2011. While several major sponsors including 2010’s presenting sponsor Pepsi have indicated a return for 2011, the event faces a significant challenge to meet its budgetary needs prior to the April event.
The professional event also currently enjoys a spot on USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar (NRC) as a 1.HC event for men, and a 1.4 event for women. Continued sanctioning as a consolidated event on the April 10 date is pending review and approval by both the UCI and USA Cycling. If sanctioning is not received, the event will continue as a standalone, men’s professional event as in 2009 when then Pro Continental BMC’s Scott Nydam of California soloed for the win over Team Planet Energy’s Francois Parisian of Quebec and OUCH’s Karl Menzies of Tasmania. The women’s NRC race would likely be eliminated entirely, also in favor of a standalone event.
The 2010 professional men’s race was won by Caleb Fairly of Texas, closely followed by California’s Floyd Landis in second.
Already included on the Pro/Am weekend are Saturday’s Cycle for Health Bike Marathon to benefit Wounded & Disabled Veterans, a race expo, and Sunday’s Tour of the Battenkill Pro/Am, which has grown to be the largest road cycling race in North America with nearly 3000 participants expected to attend. More than 2400 are already registered for the event in New York State’s Washington County near Albany.