San Francisco Twilight Criterium postponed until 2010

Lack of adequate sponsorship kills 2009 event

Another American race has been put on hold due to sponsorship woes, this time the San Francisco Twilight Criterium.

Organisers say the event will be postponed until September of 2010, due to a lack of adequate sponsorship.

“Unfortunately, in this lackluster economic climate, securing sponsorship dollars is a tough task,” said race director Ryan Dawkins of Project Sport, LLC. “We had a choice between putting on a smaller event or waiting until next year to do it right, and on the grand scale our fans expect.”

The 2008 San Francisco Twilight Criterium marked the return of professional cycling to San Francisco, with a criterium race circling an eight-block stretch of the popular neighborhood of Cow Hollow, a stone’s throw from the Golden Gate Bridge. The event was free, and included kids’ races and a pro athlete village where spectators collected the signatures of their favourite racers.

USA Cycling National Events Manager Tom Vinson said he supports the race’s postponement. The San Francisco Twilight Criterium is the latest in a number of events on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) that have had to be called off due to challenging economic conditions.

“While we always hate losing an event, we look forward to having the race back on the calendar next year, just as strong and well-run as it was in 2008,” Vinson said.

Large crowds turned out last year to see national cycling champions and Olympians race through one of San Francisco’s most scenic neighbourhoods, but when Dawkins put out the call for additional sponsorship in 2009, there were few takers.

“We had some nibbles, but nothing in the form of a title sponsor that would have made it possible to have a world-class event,” he said. “But we are already well into our planning for next year. We look forward to finding a company that realizes the benefits of putting their name on an exciting, family-friendly event that promotes the healthy lifestyle cherished by so many people in the Bay Area.”

Next year’s San Francisco Twilight Criterium is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2010.

Companies that are interested in becoming part of the 2010 event can contact Dawkins directly.

For more information, visit www.sftwilight.com.

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