|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Matthew Higgins
|Andy Gould (Sports Commission)
|Pat Smith (for Threshold Sports)
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and New York City Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba announced today that, for the first time, this summer New York City will host a 100-kilometer professional bike race that snakes through Wall Street. Featuring two-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and America's 72 top ranked pro-cyclists, the New York City Professional Cycling Championship will take place on Saturday, August 4, 2001. Proceeds from the race will benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
"This summer, the Financial Capital of the World will be transformed for one day into the Cycling Capital of the World, as millions of spectators focus their attention on a one mile loop in Lower Manhattan," the Mayor said. "The New York City Professional Cycling Championship will be a great addition to the many worldwide sporting events that New York City hosts each year. The viewer-friendly format of this unique race will ensure that millions of New Yorkers and visitors will be able to watch Lance Armstrong and other top cyclists compete. Not only is this a great sporting event, but it will also go a long way in helping to find a cure for cancer."
"The New York City Cycling Championship promises to be a memorable event," Commissioner Podziba said. "We have all the right ingredients for a spectacular competition and, more importantly, an opportunity to raise significant funds for Memorial Sloan-Kettering's vital cancer research."
David Chauner, President and CEO of Threshold Sports, the event organizer,
and a former U.S. Olympic cyclist, said, "New York is one of the best sports
towns in the world. It is an honor to work with Mayor Giuliani, Lance Armstrong
and other top-ranked cyclists to bring this exhilarating sport to this great
city. Working with the Mayor and the New York City Sports Commission, we plan
to make New York City the world capital of cycling."
Cristyne L. Nicholas, President & CEO of NYC & Company, the City's tourism marketing organization, said, "As the world capital of sports and a city that is making a strong bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, New York City is the right choice to host the first annual Professional Cycling Championship with Olympic great Lance Armstrong."
World-class teams from America and other nations will hit the streets of lower Manhattan just one week after the 2001 Tour de France to compete in the 100- kilometer Cycling Championship, which features 72 top professional cyclists racing on a course developed by the Police Department, Department of Transportation, Sports Commission and Threshold Sports. The race will take place over a one-mile loop in lower Manhattan. In addition to the professional race, there will be preliminary races featuring celebrities, amateur cyclists and a corporate challenge.
Event proceeds will go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - the world's oldest and largest private institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research, and education in cancer - to help fight the disease that almost cost Lance Armstrong his life three years ago.
President of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Nicole Limbocker said, "We are so pleased to be part of this exciting event and look forward to using the funds in our ongoing effort to better understand and treat cancer."
At age 25, Armstrong was one of the world's best cyclists before being diagnosed
with testicular cancer. Through a combination of physical conditioning, strong
support, treatment and incredible will, Armstrong became a cancer survivor,
and heroically won the 1999 and 2000 Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong, the two-time defending Tour de France champion, said, "It is a real thrill for me to be able to compete in front of an audience of American fans in the greatest city in the world. I am excited that New York City is enthusiastically welcoming professional cycling."
New York's cycling heritage has many highlights, such as the grueling six-day
cycle races that began in the old Madison Square Garden in 1891; the creation
of the Century Road Club Association in 1898; the great races in the New York
Velodrome in the 1920's; and the development of 1904 Olympic Gold Medallist
Marcus Hurley, and Olympians Joseph Kopsky ('12), Jack Heid ('48), Herbie Francis
('60), Arnie Uhrlass ('64), Oliver Martin ('68), Nelson Vales ('84), Mike McCarthy
('88) and George Hincapie ('92, '96).