By Neal Rogers
Organizers of the 2003 Capital Cup have been forced to cancel the Washington, D.C. Pro/Am event due to an eleventh-hour withdrawal of an unspecified sponsor. Given the short notice, the likelihood of finding a replacement is unlikely, and Arlington Sports, Inc., the promoting organization, is unwilling to take on the financial risk of finding another sponsor at this late date.
“It’s too late now,” explained race director Rob Laybourn. “We’re hoping that we can bring the race back next year.” Laybourn added that Arlington Sports will now focus its efforts on continuing to develop the sister event to the Capital Cup, the Clarendon Cup, held Sunday, June 1st, in Arlington, Virginia.
The Capital Cup was also cancelled in 2002, due to road construction. “Last years cancellation also put us behind in growing our sponsorship for 2003,” said Laybourn. “However, with the growth of the Clarendon Cup, we expect to bring the Capital Cup back in 2004.”
The Clarendon Cup will also be a part of the inaugural American Criterium Championship Series (ACCS). The ACCS was created by an independent group of bike race promoters and race directors to definitively crown a champion of the top seven criteriums in America.
With the cancellation of the Capital Cup, visiting teams and riders will have a rest day, as many will be coming in from a night of racing on Friday, May 30th, at the CapTech Classic in Richmond, VA. Many teams will be taking advantage of this rest day to participate in other promotional appearances in the D.C. area. Information regarding these special appearances and the Clarendon Cup are available at www.arlingtonsports.org.