Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bike Races Lose Sponsorship

cyclist in Grand Classic race
Grand Classic 2007 (photo by trekguy)
compiled from several sources

The Grand Rapids Classic, Ann Arbor Classic, and Tour de Leelanau bicycle races have lost their primary sponsor, Priority Health. At least the Grand Rapids Classic will be canceled.

Last September's Grand Rapids event had 400 participants and 6000 spectators. The course wound through downtown Grand Rapids and was timed to coincide with the Celebration on the Grand. Both pro and amateur riders competed for $30,000 in prize money.

It is unclear whether the Ann Arbor and northern Michigan events will be canceled.

Priority Health Vice President of Communications, Rob Pocock said, "As we looked at our mission of providing access to affordable and excellent health care, we just realized this year would not be a year to continue our commitment to those three races. And the real issue is that it's not just the out of pocket expense. But we had a huge investment in terms of staff time."

A Kentwood bike shop owner commented that the event brought riders from all over the country, and will be sorely missed.

See Grand Rapids Press
See WZZM 13
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See Get Off The Couch


TiLT said...

Ugh - that is terrible - my best friend's mom & stepdad come here from Colorado ever year for this bike tour. Hopefully part of it will be able to stick around. i was hoping to try it some year myself.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi TiLT- Yes, it's going to affect a lot of people. I'm sorry they were so quick to cancel the GR race. Seems like the others are waiting, perhaps hoping to find a new sponsor. And it sure doesn't fit well with Priority's ad campaign.

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