Richmond 2015: City Wins World Cycling Event Bid

Published: Sep. 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2011 at 11:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The city of Richmond will soon take center stage in the world of cycling. Wednesday morning, the announcement came that the city will host the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships- a bicycling race said to be of the same caliber as the "Tour de France."

Mayor Dwight Jones, makes the big announcement, live on Skype from Denmark. Richmond will gear up for a 9-day event. It's one local riders call the biggest thing in cycling.

"The excitement should be there, it will be there and it's just an awesome, awesome event," said Sean Yeager, an avid cyclist.

An event of this size in the city won't come without a cost. Right now, they're putting that amount at about $18-19 million, but they're expecting a return of about $135 million.

The city does have experience hosting and capitalizing off of major cycling races, like the Tour Dupont.

"It was probably 20 to 30 thousand people turning out as spectators for the Tour Dupont back in those days," said Allen Rothert, who works on planning these events for the city. He says this event will be even bigger: "People will be filling up hotels all around the region, not just in Richmond. It's a huge influx of international travel that comes here to see the races."

"We're talking 300 million viewers around the globe. We'll be able to showcase Richmond like never before," emphasized Tammy Hawley with the Mayor's office.

City leaders say a bike race will showcase this city unlike most sporting events because it takes all those spectators and viewers on a tour of the entire region.

"It's a great time to really showcase all that Richmond is about and we're the perfect blend of old and new," said Hawley.

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