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Southern Cycling On The Skids

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VeloNews is reporting that two signature pro races -- the Tour de Georgia and an inaugural pro championship in Richmond -- are in crisis due to sponsorship and organizational issues.

I don't know much about the latter; it sounds like something that would benefit the universe, but I'll be spending Saturday April 7 gaming out possible Tour of Flanders strategies (don't get me started). However, the demise of the Tour de Georgia would be a sad spectacle. It's been a beautiful course, excellent competition and drawn good fields (thanks to the courses and competition). And while races have to pay their bills -- there are no patron saints of US pro cycling -- it's a bummer to see yet another really cool American tour fizzle out.

But all hope may not be lost. We just spent a week reveling in a truly successful American stage race, the Tour of California. Could the ToC, which wants to move up anyway, slide into the TdG April slot for 2008? They have rock-solid sponsorship and a short but glowing legacy of huge crowds and excellent racing. Besides, while Georgia showed its merits as a cycling state, California is the almost-undisputed heart of US cycling. Colorado can stake a claim... hey! If the ToC moves to April, maybe they could run a Tour of Colorado in that open February slot! heh heh...

Anyway, the TdG isn't done yet, so we'll see where this is headed.