Tour of California regular Santa Rosa drops hosting of race
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tour of California regular Santa Rosa drops hosting of race

by VeloNation Press at 2:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Leipheimer’s city had appeared on race route six times in the past seven years

Amgen Tour of CaliforniaLevi Leipheimer’s hometown of Santa Rosa is set to miss hosting the Tour of California in 2014, with the city deciding not to be part of the race next season.

The city hosted the first ever stage of the race in 2006 and was part of the course in every year since bar 2011. This year it hosted the overall finish of the event, being the end point after the Tour changed direction and raced from South to North.

According to the Press Democrat, however, the city will eschew the chance to be on the route. It said that it attributed the reason for the decision to donor fatigue and “the potential for greater success after a hiatus” from the race.

It added that changes in requirements and costs from the organizer AEG were also a consideration.

Not mentioned was Leipheimer’s doping admission, suspension and retirement from the sport. The former pro had been associated with Santa Rosa’s hosting of the event, and the news that he had used banned products for a sizeable part of his career was potentially a factor.

He issued a statement on the news. “Considering all we've accomplished here, particularly in the past two years, it just seems time to watch from the sidelines. It will be a good vantage point to see how the race develops in 2014.”

It remains to be seen if and when the event returns. City Manager Kathy Millison suggested that other events could instead be looked at.

“Taking this break from the Tour will allow us to focus our efforts on new prospects,” she said. “While this is a tremendous community event with broad participation, it does require a great deal of time and effort from our Economic Development Division, as well as resources from several other City departments.”

The Press Democrat said that fundraising and enthusiasm for the event peaked in 2012. This was before the USADA reasoned decision, and the admissions by Leipheimer, Armstrong and others that they had used banned products.

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