Plans for a sixth edition of the summer grand prix bicycle race in downtown Evanston have crashed, with organizers unable to come up with enough sponsor backing to hold the event.

The Evanston Review reports that organizer Chris Mailing of Turin Bicycle said that despite efforts by the city to help keep costs down, the expense of paying for police officers to guard the race course and other costs made the event unsustainable without more business backing.

Through 2010 the race had received lead sponsorship from NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Sad this will not happen!

    Sorry to see this go, I attended every year, a great event that really showcased Evanston's downtown corridor.

    Family oriented, exciting, and well attended.

    I can understand the issue of sponsorship dollars, particularly when backers either do not have the capital or are hesitant to outlay the proceeds to support this race due to the vexing economy. 

    And it is well evident that the City would have never been able to partner as a sponsor of the event with fiscal proceeds to produce the race due to the dismal fiscal situation and debt it faces.

    This race is a one stop on a multi-stage tour thru the Midwest.  I wonder if the other races, in other cities are facing the same challenges?  How fiscally sound are these other cities?  How strong are their sponsorships at this time?

    I would pay to attend this event.  But that may be unrealistic since policing it would be daunting and there is no guarantee the 15,000 – 20,000 attendees would pony up money to attend.

    Let's hope they bring this back in 2013.

    Till then, sad this race will not happen!


  2. So disappointing

    This is disappointing news, indeed.  This annual bike race is a great community-wide event — for adults, kids, riders, and non-riders.  Wish there were a way to fund it, but one of the realities of the Evanston economy is the abundance of not-for-profits that form the business base.  Unfortunately, not-for-profits aren't likely to be sponsors of events such as these.  I hope our business and political leaders can figure out a way to get some of our for-profit businesses to kick in and bring this event back.

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