WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2009) --- The hard-hitting recession has claimed this year's running of the Capital Criterium-Washington's DC professional cycling race-scheduled for Sunday August 23, 2009.
Race Director Mark Sommers explained that "a few months ago, 2008 race title sponsor ING DIRECT advised us that, like all financial institutions, its discretionary sports sponsorship spending had been severely cut. And while we recently located a promising new title sponsor, that sponsor ultimately concluded that inadequate time was left before the race to leverage and activate it in the manner needed to attain its sponsorship goals. This, of course, is a great disappointment, but obviously bodes well for next year and beyond for this marquee race. However, as things stand right now, unless a new title sponsor immediately steps up, we do not believe the 2009 event can be promoted at the quality levels that both we and the City envision for the long-term success of this downtown DC professional sports event."
DC Mayor Adrian Fenty added that, "Last year's race was a tremendous success and we remain committed to bringing this event back to the District next year on grander scale."
The Capital Criterium course runs along the Presidential Inauguration route on Pennsylvania Avenue (America's Main Street), mostly recently walked by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The course features the iconic US Capitol as its backdrop, providing lap-after-lap views of many world-renown buildings and monuments.
The 2008 ING DIRECT Capital Criterium presented by CycleLife was held on September 21, 2008 and won by Hilton Clarke, depicted below. That day, 15,000+ spectators lined the course to watch an international field of professional riders, including recent Tour de France competitors and 2008 Olympians, race the streets of DC.