VAIL, CO (BRAIN)—The Vail Valley Foundation has pulled the plug on the inaugural Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic road bike race scheduled for August 22-24, 2008.
“When requesting the event be placed on the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] calendar, we recognized the challenges facing us in finding enough sponsorship support,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “The declining economic picture has made these efforts increasingly difficult, and the final straw came last week when we were not able to close a deal with a presenting sponsor.”
An event the magnitude of the Colorado Stage requires a budget of nearly $2 million, Folz said. While that budget has been pared back significantly, the remaining shortfall was too large for the Vail Valley Foundation to absorb.
“Having to cancel the Colorado Stage is incredibly disappointing,” Folz said, “because so many people have worked so hard to try and make it a reality. I know that a tremendous amount of interest has been generated in bringing major international road cycling back to Colorado, but we felt that delaying our decision any later would be unfair to the teams and sponsors that have already committed.
"A major bike race requires major corporate partners, and enough of those were just not in place.”
The Colorado Stage, a three-stage cycling race, was scheduled to feature a 135-mile road race from Breckenridge to Beaver Creek, a 72-mile circuit race in and around Vail Village and a 10-mile individual time trial from Vail Village to the East Vail cul-de-sac.
“I am hopeful and confident that we will have a major international cycling event in Vail in the very near future,” said Sean Petty, chief executive officer of USA Cycling.