Tour de Georgia might not return

ATLANTA — Cycling officials say if a major sponsor isn't found for the Tour de Georgia the race could be gone for good.

The 8-year-old tour was canceled in 2009 as the economy faltered. Officials announced last week it won't happen this year, either.

That puts the race — one of the nation's top professional cycling events that brings $30 million annually into the state — in danger of closing for good.

Tom Saddlemire, a board member for the Tour de Georgia Foundation Inc., said the event needs a sponsor willing to spend up to $1 million. The 600-mile race is usually held over six days in the spring.

Experts say the Georgia race is widely considered a warm-up event for the annual Tour de France, the World Series of cycling.

 

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