Sad day for Oregon bike racing: Chad Sperry, Mt. Hood Cycling Classic race organizer, announced today that this year would likely be the last for the 11-year-old stage race that's become a climber's favorite and has hosted Giro winners (Ryder Hesjedal), Olympic gold medalists (Kristin Armstrong) and U.S. national champions (Jade Wilcoxson, Freddie Rodriguez).
"We have reached a point with a significant decline in sponsorship support, volunteer support, and rider registrations declining each year that we are forced to make the very tough decision to close the event. We can no longer afford to take financial losses this event creates and must look to move on," Sperry stated on mthoodcyclingclassic.com.
What's more, this year's women's race looks to be in jeopardy, with only one woman registered. Sperry told Cyclingnews.com he'd leave registration open until Friday in hopes of attracting at least 25 women in the elite field. The climbing-intensive three-day race (for men and women) is scheduled for June 21-23 in Hood River.
Sperry made little mention of the Bend-based Cascade Cycling Classic, the nation's longest running stage race, other than he's looking forward to it.