Women’s Exergy Tour to cancel 2013 race

A lack of sponsors forces the Exergy Tour to cancel this year's event. Organizers hope to resume the race in 2014

The Exergy Tour, one of the premier events on the women’s cycling calendar in the United States, announced Thursday that it will start the process of canceling the 2013 race by the end of this month.

According to organizers, the Exergy Development Group was the only financial contributor to the May event, which debuted in May 2012. Organizers have been unable to secure more sponsors for the 2013 race and said they have been forced to cancel because of that.

“It is our goal to resume the Exergy Tour in 2014, and we highly encourage more people to boldly take a stand to dramatically overhaul the sport and to take a leadership role in support of women’s cycling,” organizers said in a press release.

American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) won the 2012 overall title at the Exergy Tour, a victory that all but guaranteed her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team that was named a month later.

Exergy Development Group ran afoul of service providers following the 2012 edition of the race, with at least one major partner pursuing legal action later in the year over unpaid contracts. VeloNews understands that among the agencies disputing unpaid fees were Boise-area law enforcement and a number of local vendors, as well as stage and communications technical partners working across a number of Medalist Sports events, including the Amgen Tour of California, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, and USA Pro Challenge. Medalist Sports is believed to have declined involvement in the tour for 2013.

The alternative energy firm fell behind on its more than $4 million commitment to cycling in the U.S. in 2012, ultimately paying out roughly half of that commitment. The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross and Louisville cyclocross world championships were forced to find new title sponsorship and, in the case of the latter, turn over control to USA Cycling.

Exergy CEO James Carkulis cited the fall-out from the Lance Armstrong scandal as reason to close his men’s professional team late last year. The Boise-based firm continues to sponsor the Exergy Twenty16 women’s team.