Posted by Editoress on 10/30/19
AEG, the organizer of the Tour of California, announced on Wednesday that they will put the Amgen Tour of California race on hiatus for the 2020 racing season.
"This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago," said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. "While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race. This new reality has forced us to re-evaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021."
The ongoing natural disasters California has faced, including flooding and forest fires have impacted local infrastructure and quite likely affected the willingness of local towns and cities to pay the costs and fees charged for having starts or finishes on the route, although organizers have not discussed specifics.
According to AEG, the race has become California's largest annual sporting event, contributing more than $3.5 billion to the state's economy over the years. Initially held in February, the race later moved to May, putting it head-to-head with the Giro. It is the only U.S.-based event that has both its men's and women's races listed on the UCI WorldTour calendar, while being the only event of its kind that concurrently produces men's and women's stage races that offer equal prize money - it should be noted that this is for the three days that the women's race runs, while the men's race is seven days. Organizers say that they are in compliance with a recently passed California law that mandates equal prize lists for men and women, and insist that it has nothing to do with the race cancellation.
"On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes," said Bob Stapleton, Chairman of USA Cycling. "We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021."
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