Mayor Nutter says he will work to bring Philadelphia “a major pro cycling event in 2014.”
In the meantime, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady still plans to meet Friday with Manayunk civic and business leaders to find a way to have the race this year, said Jane Lipton, head of the Manayunk Community Development Corp.
Heard in the Hall is waiting to hear more from the Nutter administration about whether it supports that effort. In the meantime, here is the mayor's statement:
Mayor Michael A. Nutter committed the City of Philadelphia to work toward securing a major pro cycling event in 2014 in the wake of an announcement that the current cycling championship has been canceled for this year.
“While we are all greatly disappointed by the cancellation of the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship this year owing to the organizer’s inability to secure a title sponsor, I want all who are devoted to cycling to know that we are committed to working with the very best promoters to develop a complete event in 2014 that will reestablish our city as a world-class cycling destination,” Mayor Nutter said. “As Philadelphia becomes the greenest city in America, we are focusing our resources on increasing dedicated bike lanes and the greater use of bicycles for work and play. In 2014, we will be back with a premier international, professional cycling race, but we’ll also be honoring the importance of the bicycle as a major form of transportation in the 21st Century.”
The Mayor’s comments come at a time of great turbulence in the pro cycling world but also at a time when cycling in Philadelphia is becoming more and more visible. Recently, the City was declared the ninth most bikeable city in the United States and the best city for biking with a population more than one million. And the City of Philadelphia has announced a plan to develop a multi-million dollar bike share program by early 2014.
Over its many years in the city, the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship has spurred growth in the cycling community and the cycling industry and has made the City an international destination for bicycle enthusiasts.
“I want to be very clear about where we are headed,” Mayor Nutter said. “We are a first class city and we deserve a first class pro cycling race that is fiscally sustainable and professionally administered. The City will engage in the appropriate due diligence, conferring with a wide range of people in the racing world to achieve that goal.”
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