December 26/09 8:21 am - Houffalize World Cup in Financial Difficulty
Posted by Editor on 12/26/09
The Belgian news site L'Avenir is reporting that the organizing committee of the Houffalize Mountain Bike World Cup is likely to announce on Monday that they will give up their sanction for the event in 2010. Houffalize is one of the classics of the cross-country circuit, run by the small town of Houffalize in the southeast corner of Belgium. The event takes place in and around the town itself and, for 2010, is scheduled for May 1-2, with the second round of the cross-country series and first round of the 4-Cross.
However, this year (2009) the event racked up a deficit of nearly 80,000 Euros (more than $120,000), due to sponsorship shortfalls. The mayor of Houffalize stated to L'Avenir "elected officials can not impose on the [population] to intervene again".
The mayor expects that the town will give up the sanction unless financial assistance is promised.
While Houffalize currently has the sanction to produce the World Cup, the UCI actually awards it to the national federation, which then contracts with the local event organizer. Therefore, the Belgian cycling federation theoretically has the option of finding a different organizer and location to award the sanction to (subject to UCI approval). The only other Belgian organizer to have held a World Cup (cross-country) in recent years is Spa Francorchamps, which is less than 50 kilometres from Houffalize.