Newport-Mystic SoNew Cyclone race could take place from 2013
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Newport-Mystic SoNew Cyclone race could take place from 2013

by VeloNation Press at 5:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Video
New event planned for Southern New England

SoNew CycloneSome events may be stopping and others such as the Tour of the Battenkill changing from a pro contest to a Gran Fondo event, but if things go to plan there could be a new race held in Southern New England in September of this year.

Organisers have been working for more than two years to run the race, which would likely begin as a demonstration event in year one, but which is hoped will progress to the NRC calendar and possible UCI status in 2014, then expand further in the years following that.

Titled the Newport-Mystic SoNew Cyclone, the initial programme would see a point-to-point race between Newport and Mystic, totalling 90 miles in total, and featuring a large number of pro riders from both North America and Europe.

That race is scheduled to take place on Saturday September 28nd, with a 40 mile circuit race in Mystic on Sunday 29th. It is envisaged that a total of $15,000 would be available as prize money in year one.

“Our job is to get this event on the books,” said race director Bill Humphries, who has been involved in many aspects of the sport for over 42 years. Originally a competitor and one of the first American riders to compete abroad on a US team, then the junior national road coach over riders such as Greg LeMond, Thurlow Rogers and Ron Kiefel, he became involved in race promotions in the 1980s.

“I have kept my partners’ feet to the fire in that we have to get it done once as a ‘demonstration project.’ Then the doors will open up and we can find tune it for 2014 as possibly an NRC event and maybe some UCI points. We would then be positioned (by moving one week later in 2015) to take advantage of the proximity to the Worlds Championships in Richmond, VA, but it’s crucial first to get it off the ground in 2013.”

Humphreys has been working with two others for a long time on the event; Peter Glankoff, Senior Vice President in Development and Public Affairs of the Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration and Evan Smith, the President and CEO of the Newport, RI Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. He states that permission has been secured with the relevant police for the event, and that at this point in time, $200,000 in media sponsors/exposure will be in place if the race goes ahead.

The trio are now in contact with potential sponsors, needing an agreement there to cover the race operating budget of $150,000. If that’s achieved, Humphreys believes that good teams would compete in 2013 and that more would follow as the race grows.

“In the first year it would be for USA continental teams such as Jelly Belly, Bissell, rather than Pro Continental teams like UnitedHealthcare. We will invite a team from the Netherlands. I’ve had talks with Ed Beamon and Jeremy Powers about the schedule and not mixing in too many amateur teams.”

What’s clear is that Humphreys sees a gap in the calendar for the type of event he has in mind. “There is no major tourism driven, pro point to point road race in New England, especially one with well over $100K in media attached to it,” he said. “This event has entertainment value for sponsors and teams alike.

“The ultimate goal is to drive tourism to this region and showcase the two Icons, Newport, RI and Mystic, CT as cycling destinations also. To have an annual end of the season event that acts as a finale for all the weary pro teams to come and relax, and even bring their families to chill out after the race. For the first time all year they won’t have to jump in the van or get to the airport for another destination. The timing would be ideal.”


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