August 26, 2013–By Jen Benepe
Some female cyclists are already posting messages on Facebook to keep the women’s portion of an Illinois race which was canceled due to scheduling conflicts with the Tour of Utah.
The Tour of Elk Grove was canceled, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson announced earlier today.
But women pro cyclists are vowing to try and help make the race a big one–for women only.
“The Women’s Cycling Association has requested a meeting with the mayor of Elk Grove to engage him on keeping the date for the Elk Grove Stage Race and turning it into one of the premier Women’s Pro Cycling Races of the year,” said Robin Farina speaking for the organization.
“This could easily be done by using the resources the race had in the past for the men for the women,” she added. Farina is also suggesting that the race become a UCI level stage race for Women in the USA. So far there are only five other UCI races for women held in the United States.
“We are waiting on a response from Mayor Craig Johnson as he holds the key to the event,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Craig Johnson put the blame on USA Cycling and the UCI for causing scheduling conflicts with the Tour of Utah.
In a letter published in the Daily Herald on Sunday, Johnson said that the extension of the Tour of Utah dates would conflict with Elk Grove, making it too difficult for them to attract top riders.
Raquel Miller, of Farm Team Elite Women’s Cycling Team said she and others would be sad if the race was canceled, and want it to go on.
“With the Tour of Utah on the west coast, it gives the perfect opportunity for a world-class event for the women in the central part of the country,” said Farina. “The possibilities are endless for the race but we need the community and the race promoter to step up to the plate and believe in the Women’s Pro Peloton.”
Wrote one person on their site, “Sad to hear about @AlexianBrosElkGroveStageRace BUT it’s a great opportunity for a top WOMEN’S Pro Cycling event to take place! #UCIfortheWOMEN!”