Providence Cyclo-cross Festival Planned for 2008
Three Day Festival with World Cup Race Planned for Roger Williams Park
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – GSD Event Productions will promote a three-day cyclo-cross festival in Roger Williams Park in the fall of 2008. Organizers have decided to postpone plans to host a UCI World Cup event in 2007.
"We have a great venue, political support, solid staff, and fantastic sponsors in place," said Richard Fries, marketing and communications director. "What we truly need, however, is time to create an event that provides a solid return on the investment being made by our sponsors. We’re not just planning a wedding; we’re planning a marriage between our organization and a Fortune 500 sponsor. We expect to build a lasting, world-class event in Providence with plans of hosting the World Championships at Roger Williams Park."
The UCI has made several concession to GSD Event Productions to facilitate the promotion of the first cyclo-cross World Cup ever held in the U.S. GSD had signed a letter of intent to host the event but realized more time would be required to satisfy sponsorship requirements.
"We’re moving all the chess pieces on the board as fast as we can," said Lyle Fulkerson, operations director. "Given the scrutiny professional cycling is facing on Madison Avenue, we need additional time to give our sponsors the chance to perform due diligence. We want to deliver for them. Waiting one year on their budget cycle allows them to properly support our initiative."
"We were proud of the 2006 nationals that we put on in Rhode Island. We think we put on one of the best nationals ever held. It’s a world class venue," said Tom Stevens, race director. "There is only one way for us to go and that is up to the World Cup level."
Present plans call for the promotion of a three-day event with a UCI World Cup being held on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, followed by two days of racing Oct. 12 and 13.
Traditionally raced in the fall and winter, cyclo-cross is the steeplechase of cycling, with riders competing on tightly woven courses laid out atop pavement, dirt, turf and even sand. The history of cyclo-cross pre-dates the Tour de France with major races being held as early as 1920 and the first World Championships being held in 1954. The first U.S. national championships were held in 1976. Since then the popularity of cyclo-cross, for both spectators and riders, has seen explosive growth. The 2006 USA Cycling National Championships held in Providence, R.I., saw a record registration of more than 2,000 entrants, making it one of the largest competitive cycling events held in the U.S. that year.
About GSD Event Productions
GSD Event Productions is a limited liability corporation based in New England that specializes in promoting cyclo-cross events. The three directors, Tom Stevens, Lyle Fulkerson and Richard Fries, have promoted seven national championships, more than 20 national series events, and dozens of UCI events throughout America.