Tuesday, December 2, 2008

leadership for which we ALL can be thankful

senator chuck schumer, d-ny

December 1, 2008
Sean Petty
Chief Operating Officer
USA Cycling
1 Olympic Plaza,
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Dear Mr. Petty:
I write to ask that you reconsider the application from the Tour of the Battenkill to replace the 2009 Tour of Georgia in 2009 on the UCI America Tour. As you know, the Tour of Georgia canceled its 2009 race, and I believe Tour of Battenkill in Washington County of New York State is the perfect event to be included on the tour. The Battenkill Valley is an idyllic region of Upstate New York that is prepared and excited to attract even more attention to its already-popular Tour of Battenkill event.
In just five years, the Tour of the Battenkill has become the largest amateur biking race in the country and winds through 60 exciting miles of the picturesque Washington Country. Twenty of the race's 60 miles are on harsh and unforgiving hard-packed dirt roads that emulate the legendary cobblestone courses in Belgium and northern France.
But unlike Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Tour of Flanders, the Tour of the Battenkill takes place right here in New York and has rightfully earned the title of America's "Queen of the Classics." Last year drew 15,000 participants and spectators. This year the race is expected to attract over 20,000 people, creating an economic boon for Washington County and surrounding areas.
Granting the race a UCI 2.1 status will ensure that some of the top professional cyclists in the country will race on back roads of Washington County. Their participation will help fuel regional and national interest in the event and attract more people to the sport of cycling.

Unfortunately, due to the late cancellation of the Tour of Georgia the organizers of the Battenkill Race did not submit their application with USA Cycling until after the application deadline had passed. The UCI , however,
 has encouraged the organizers to file an application with them directly.
Having the support of USA Cycling for this event is critical. I respectfully ask that you re-consider the application, as I know that USA Cycling would not want to miss this exciting opportunity to fill an unanticipated gap in their 2009 schedule with one of the most exciting amateur biking races in the country.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you on this matter. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Sam Schaeffer in my office.
Charles E. Schumer

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