For the first time in 28 years, the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship won’t take place. Organizers say they cancelled the race to better plan for next year’s edition. Or maybe Lance Armstrong has permanently tainted their view of competitive bike racing, and they’ve sunken into a deep depression. Either way, you’ll have to bike up the Manayunk Wall on your own this year. [NBC 10]
UPDATE: Manayunk Development Corporation Executive Jane Lipton, whose neighborhood organization has helped with implementation of the race for the past couple years, has released a statement about the cancellation. Here it is, in full.
“The decision by the organizers of the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship to cancel the 2013 event caught us completely by surprise. We were given no inkling that there were any issues that would lead to the cancellation of this year’s race and we’re understandably stunned and saddened by their unilateral decision. For the past two years, the Manayunk Development Corporation (MDC) has worked extremely hard and collaboratively with all parties to make the bike race a more family-friendly event and believe we succeeded in that goal. It has always been our desire to strike a true partnership with the race organizers for the benefit of the race, the spectators and the entire Manayunk community. We are reaching out today to race officials to determine if there may be a way of salvaging the 2013 event and to ensure that all future Philadelphia International Cycling Championships stay here in Manayunk, where they belong. Only this community has the iconic ‘Manayunk Wall’ and it’s not going anywhere. The MDC staff and board are exploring all options to either save the 2013 bike race or plug this one-year gap with a family-friendly event that will retain the excitement and spirit of the race. We will provide the press and public with details of these plans as they develop.”