Upbeat reactions to Richmond 2015’s winning bid for world championships
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Upbeat reactions to Richmond 2015’s winning bid for world championships

by VeloNation Press at 5:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Organisers promise to work hard on project, Phinney welcomes chance to shine on home soil

Richmond 2015Confirmed this week as hosting the 2015 world road race championships, several of those involved with the successful Richmond, Virginia bid have given their reaction to the news. As might be expected, all have welcomed the UCI’s decision to approve the championships there, and speak about the positive effects they believe it will have.

Steve Johnson, President and CEO of USA Cycling, said cycling in the US is in a healthy position but will be even more so in the future. “From the success of American riders and U.S.-based professional teams in Europe to our ever-growing domestic membership to world-class stage races like the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the 2015 UCI Road World Championships is yet another milestone towards the continued growth and success of the sport,” he stated.

Richmond was up against two other candidates, namely Quebec and Oman, but both withdrew before the final deliberation. Quebec said in March that it didn’t have enough money to put up the estimated $20 million costs and would concentrate instead on the two WorldTour races being held in the country.

Those behind the Oman bid are yet to comment on their reasons for not pushing on with their project.

For Richmond and USA Cycling, though, the outcome is exactly what they were chasing. Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones helped push for the championships and gave the reasons for his own interest in bringing the worlds to the area. “Bicycling, for transport and fitness, has been an important focus of my administration. Hosting the World Championships will help bring Richmond one step closer to being one of the world’s great bicycling cities,” he said, adding that in winning the bid, the location will join famous European locations Madrid, Florence and Copenhagen in history.

Another who is giving a thumbs up is Taylor Phinney, one of the most promising young American competitors, and one who could be a big medal contender in four years time. The 2010 under 23 world champion won the prologue in the Eneco Tour this year and finished fifth in the long time trial at the Vuelta a España. While he was back in 15th place in the Elite time trial this week, he can realistically expect to improve in the years ahead and could start as one of the favourites.

“The road world championships have not been held on American soil in my lifetime,” said Phinney, having been born four years after the 1986 championships were held in Colorado Springs. “It will certainly give me, and the entire new generation of American cycling something to aspire to.”

Mike Plant, a UCI Management Committee member who is described as having played an ‘instrumental’ part in helping the bid be a successful one, said that the location of the championships was historically significant for US cycling. “Richmond stepped up and proved they could support world class cycling when we brought the Tour de Trump and Tour DuPont to the city in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s,” he said, referring to two successful stage races which took place in the past.

According to the Richmond 2015 team, they are expecting nearly half a million spectators over the course of the championships and should be viewed by a global television audience of more than 300 million people. They quote an economic impact study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics, which claims the 2015 worlds will generate more than $135 million for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Tim Miller, the executive director of the Richmond 2015 organisation, said that the work done would escalate now to build what he wants to be one of the best editions of the championships ever.

“Securing the 2015 World Championships is the result of tremendous collaboration between civic and business leaders and strategic partners,” he said. “As we now enter the next phase, we look forward to expanding these partnerships to ensure that the 2015 World Championships set a new standard of excellence.”

The 2015 UCI Road World Championships are scheduled to take place between September 19 to 27.


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