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Richmond cheers selection of city for world bike event

Richmond cheers selection of city for world bike event

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Bike celebration

Cycling fans including Chris Harvie (far left), Dan Cherkis (arms raised) and Niki Lefebvre gathered at downtown's Capital Ale House for this morning's announcement.

2:30 p.m.

Now that Richmond has been selected as the host city for the World Road Cycling Championships in 2015, organizers will begin the four-year process of putting on the event.

“It’s pretty complex stuff,” said Peter Chapman, head of Richmond’s office of economic development who was among the delegation to travel to Copenhagen for today’s announcement.

Tim Miller, head of the organizing committee Richmond 2015, said work will begin in earnest on Monday.

The nine-day event could bring more than 450,000 people from 70 countries and $135.3 million in estimated economic benefits to the Richmond area, while showcasing the city on TV to millions of cycling fans around the world.

Among the priorities is raising the estimated $12 million that it will cost to put on the event.

Organizers said they are confident the money will be in place. The bid, which was submitted Sept. 1, required that the area show how it would pay to put on the championships.

“The next step is to celebrate,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

The 2015 World Road Cycling Championships are tentatively scheduled to begin Sept. 19, 2015

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. Read more in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch. Earlier updates are posted below, along with this morning's article by staff writer Will Jones.)

11:10 a.m.

Richmond has been selected to host the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships, a nine-day event that will draw hundreds of thousands to the region and pour millions of dollars into area coffers.

The decision to award the race was made this morning in Denmark by Union Cycliste Internationale, the Swiss organizing body.

Oman, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, was also in the running, but UCI announced this morning that the nation had withdrawn its bid.

The World Road Cycling Championships is a nine-day event that could bring more than 450,000 people from 70 countries and $135.3 million in estimated economic benefits to the Richmond area, while showcasing the city on TV to millions of cycling fans around the world.

The race will be held here in September 2015.

-- Louis Llovio

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. Earlier updates and this morning's story from the Richmond Times-Dispatch are posted below.)

9:35 a.m.

The nation of Oman has pulled its bid for the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships, according to the governing body Union Cycliste Internationale.

The decision all but certifies that Richmond will win the right to host the race.

A spokesman for Richmond 2015 said the decision "doesn’t mean we win it by default. But it looks good.”

The matter is currently under review by UCI’s management committee which will announce its decision later this morning, eastern time, in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones has led a delegation of officials to await word on the decision.

The management committee has the final say.

 -- Louis Llovio

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available. Read more in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch. This morning's article is posted below.)

By WILL JONES

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones is leading a delegation to Copenhagen, Denmark, for today's announcement of the host city for the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships.

Richmond is vying for the nine-day competition with Muscat, the capital of Oman, a country on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Jones left Tuesday for Denmark, which is the site of this year's World Road Cycling Championships. The delegation also includes Peter H. Chapman, the city's deputy chief administrative officer for economic and community development; Matthias Duys, director of international investment for Virginia's European office; Tim Miller, executive director of the organizing group Richmond 2015; and Chris Aronhalt, a managing partner of Medalist Sport.

"We delivered a very strong bid for this event," Jones said in a statement. "Regional civic and business leaders as well as the commonwealth of Virginia have pledged firm support for our bid, and our city is perfect for hosting the championships."

The cycling competition offers a purported economic impact of $135.3 million, with more than 450,000 on-site spectators and a television audience of 300 million viewers worldwide. If awarded to Richmond, the event would have an estimated budget of $12.2 million.

"We're overwhelmed by the support we've received from the city, state and the business community, as well as the strategic counsel and guidance from USA Cycling," Miller said. "We visited the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado earlier this month. …. It left no doubt in my mind that America is the best place for the 2015 World Championships."

Union Cycliste Internationale, the Swiss organizing body, is expected to announce the 2015 host city about 11:15 a.m. today.

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