Tour of America organizers decided this week to postpone the inaugural coast-to-coast race until September 2009.
Since the original announcement of the Tour of America in September 2007, Aqu executives and staff members have met with cities along the proposed route, potential sponsors and race teams, as well as staff members of USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport"s governing bodies.
"After we announced the Tour of America last fall, we hit the ground running to make the event happen in 2008," said Frank Arokiasamy, president of event organizer Aqu Inc. "We want to work with USA Cycling and UCI to establish this event as a compliment to the major international races, and at the same time not conflict with established races in the United States. Overall, we want to make sure the Tour of America strengthens the sport of cycling and the race calendar. In addition, potential sponsors and route cities have expressed strong support for a fall 2009 race."
Exact dates for the fall 2009 edition of the Tour of America has not been finalized. Tour of America staff are currently finalizing route details, sponsorship agreements and proposed dates to comply with USA Cycling"s race application process. Once the application is submitted, USA Cycling will review it and submit the 2009 Tour of America"s dates, along with all of the races on the national calendar, to the UCI for approval.
Aqu plans a 21-stage, 2,200 mile (more than 3,500 km) professional bicycle road race spanning the United States, making it the largest spectator event in the history of U.S. sports. The event will include close to 200 riders, from 21 of the world's elite cycling teams in the world to participate and will boast a prize purse currently pegged at $10 million, the largest purse of any international cycling event. The Tour of America will start in New York's Central Park and finish in San Francisco Bay Area.