Jul 28, 2002 3:38 PM
|What ever happened to the Tour DuPont? I remember it coming through Richmond,VA back when I was in college.
Now that the tour is over, I was thinking how cool it would be to have a big stage race in the states in my area again.
Jul 28, 2002 3:58 PM
|was the last year, it went belly up|
|Originally the "Tour de Trump". I miss the Coors Classic too -nm||Tig|
Jul 28, 2002 4:25 PM
|Billy Packer killed the Tour duPont with a lawsuit||Niwot|
Jul 28, 2002 5:31 PM
|Billy Packer (the college basketball announcer) was once associated with the Tour duPont, but had a falling-out with the promoter. Packer filed a lawsuit against the race promoter, and Packer successfully prevented anyone from promoting or sponsoring the race unless they dealt with Packer. The sponsors backed away because of the lawsuit, and the race died.
Here's an old article about the mess:
Another Disappointment for U.S. Cycling
By Arthur Brice
Barring a miracle, the Tour DuPont will not be held in 1997.
The fate of the 8-year-old multi-day bicycle race held each May, the largest in America and one of the biggest in the world, was decided Wednesday when the DuPont company announced it was withdrawing its $2 million sponsorship for next year's event because race promoter Medalist Sports had not met contractual obligations.
How did a race that seemed to improve each year come this impasse? Medalist Sports president Mike Plant had said last month he would not promote next year's race because he was too busy with new obligations as president of the 1998 Goodwill Games. Plant, a vice president of Turner Sports Properties, also cited a lawsuit filed by former race associate Billy Packer as another impediment. A settlement in the suit over ownership of the race was reached last
That was too late for DuPont, which said the lawsuit caused six months of planning delays. "We've been saying with increasing irritation in our voices, 'We need you to stand up and tell us who's managing this event for the next year,'" said John M. Murray, brand manager at DuPont. "And they didn't stand up until a week ago. We lost two-thirds of the whole preparation schedule."
That's not how Plant sees it. "There were no extensive planning delays," he said Wednesday afternoon, after talking with DuPont officials. The problem, he said, was the lawsuit and the job he took with Turner Sports in August 1995.
"Turner Sports would not agree to my involvement in the tour with me having litigation hanging over my head," Plant said.
Plant had intended to bring in many of the employees from Medalist Sports to form a race management team at Turner Sports that would operate the Tour DuPont and the Tour of China. But Packer, who started the Tour de Trump, which later became the Tour DuPont, filed a suit in Virginia earlier this year to prevent any company other than Medalist from organizing the Tour DuPont and the Tour of China.
The suit, which was settled Nov. 25, prevented Turner Sports from having any role running the Tour DuPont. It also prevented companies that sponsor the race, most notably DuPont, from negotiating with anyone other than Medalist about managing the tour.
"Our contract is with Medalist Sports," said DuPont's Murray. "Until last week, we still didn't have a resolution in terms of who's leading this thing." DuPont had been a title sponsor since 1991, but announced in July it would not renew its contract after the 1997 race.
The lawsuit settlement called for Packer to take over management of the Tour DuPont. Packer and Michael Halstead, president of ISL Sports & Company, which promotes the successful CoreStates race in Philadelphia and the Tour of America race series, say they would have liked the opportunity to put on next year's race.
"If DuPont had continued," Halstead said, "the plan was for Billy to keep Medalist in place and we could have come in to replace senior-level management. I met with DuPont and Billy about it. It would have been an intriguing project for us."
By all accounts, it's too late to try to cobble something together for 1997. It cost about $6 million to stage the last Tour DuPont. "The prospect of finding sponsorship of that magnitude at this stage is daunting," Halstead said. "It's an extreme longshot at this point."
News of the tour's demise comes as the latest blow in a string of major disappointments for U.S. cycling this year: U.S. c
|Niwot gets my vote for research ability. (nm)||onespeed|
Jul 28, 2002 6:00 PM
|Another reason to hate Billy Packer!!! nm||Djudd|
Jul 28, 2002 8:03 PM
|No kidding, he is irritating as hell. (nm.)||husker|
Jul 29, 2002 3:01 AM