March 15/07 9:35 am - O'Neill Injured; Tour de Georgia a Go
Posted by Editor on 03/15/07
Nathan O'Neill Injured in Car Accident
Shortly after a press conference in Chattanooga (Tennesse - site of the finish for stage 3) yesterday, Nathan O'Neill (Health Net p/b Maxxis), Jackie Tyson, TdG director of communications for the Tour de Georgia and Judy Staton of the Georgia Cancer Coalition were in a serious car accident while driving back from the conference. Tyson's car was hit from behind and flipped. O'Neill received more than 60 stitches to his left arm and will miss Redlands next week, and Staton is reported as recovering and stable in hospital. However, Jackie Tyson is in intensive care with head injuries; she is expected to make a full recovery.
Our best wishes to everyone involved, and particularly Jackie - who puts up with all of our media demands before and during the race with expertise and a smile.
Tour de Georgia to Go Ahead for 2007
There has been speculation that the Tour de Georgia might not take place next month, after organizers revealed that they still did not a title sponsor to replace the Ford dealers group which did not renew for this year. However, organizers announced late yesterday that numerous local sponsor have stepped forward to make up the shortfall (rumoured to be $1 million U.S.):
Organizers announced today that the Tour de Georgia is scheduled as planned, April 16-22, 2007. The Tour de Georgia is the longest professional stage race in North America this year at 667 miles, and remains as one of the highest ranked stage races outside of Europe (2.HC rating). A remarkable field of 15 elite teams will be announced in the coming days. Detailed information about the teams, race route, host venues and sponsors continues to be updated daily at www.tourdegeorgia.com.
"On behalf of the Tour's Board of Directors (Georgia Partnership of Economic Development), the Georgia Cancer Coalition and Medalist Sports, we are genuinely appreciative of the numerous individuals and corporations who responded to the Tour's call to action for additional support," said Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner of Medalist Sports and Executive Director for the Tour de Georgia. "This is a powerful reflection of the importance of the Tour de Georgia to Georgia's tourism economy, to our corporate partners and host communities, and to the international cycling community. While we continue to explore additional opportunities for fundraising, we are confident and committed to making this race a reality for Georgia, for cancer awareness and for the global sport of cycling."
The Tour de Georgia is supported by its twelve host community partners, as well as its Presenting Sponsor, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). Tour officials also wish to recognize and thank the following organizations (listed alphabetically) for their support of the 2007 Tour de Georgia and its objectives:
Aaron's Corporate Furnishings
ARAMARK Campus Services
Classic Signature Foods
CNN Mobile Display Kraft
Coca Cola N.A. / C.C.E.
Georgia Department of Economic Development
Jittery Joe's Coffee
Smith & Nephew
Stone Mountain Memorial Association
Toyota United Pro Cycling
United Community Bank