July 13/03 1:05 am - Redlands and Solano go UCI for 2004
Posted by Editoress on 07/13/03
Redlands Bicycle Classic And Solano both UCI for 2004
REDLANDS, CA - A merger between two major California stage races, Redlands Bicycle Classic and Sea Otter Classic, to form an eleven day stage race will not take place in 2004, but Redlands is still making plans to lure international teams.
It was planned that Redlands and Sea Otter, held on back-to-back weekends this past April, would merge to form the inaugural American Cycling Classic. After a day of meetings between key people from both events, an agreement was reached to place that merger on hold for 2004. The key issue was the Sea Otter Classic decided to stay on the same April week that was so successful for them this year: April 13 to April 18, rather then move up to March 30 as planned for the merger. Not wanting to race on Easter, Redlands will not move to April, eliminating the merger. Both organizations, said Kundig, agreed to re-evaluate the idea of holding a united cycling event in some form by 2005.
While the Redlands-Sea Otter connection fell through, the Redlands Classic will instead hook up with the Solano Classic, a growing race with plenty of high profile riders. Both races will be sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale, the same sanctioning body as the Tour de France) and will occur on back-to-back spring weekends in 2004. Redlands will take place on March 23-28 while Solano will follow a few days later on March 31-April 4. Redlands will celebrate its twentieth year, while Solano will be running its fifth classic. "We're excited," said Craig Kundig, a director with the Redlands Bicycle Classic, "that Solano is willing to make the move up to UCI and work with us to create packages to tempt international teams.
Scott Reynolds, the president of the Solano race, was a longtime volunteer at Redlands before making the move 450 miles north, near Sacramento. "Working with Redlands," said Reynolds, who has worked on both racing committees, "means that the Solano race will get greater recognition, greater drawing power, both nationally and internationallyfrom the riders."The Redlands Classic has the power to draw some great riders." Hopes are, by working together, said Kundig, "we will add international teams and riders to both races."
Marketing Director, Redlands Bicycle Classic