Philadelphia cycling race cancelled for 2017

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The City of Philadelphia has announced that the annual Philadelphia International Cycling Classic (PICC), will not be held this year.

In a statement posted on the race's website Friday, organizers said money is the reason.

"Regrettably, even after extensive fundraising efforts, we were not able to find enough sponsors interested in covering the $1 million cost of the bike race to host it this year," the statement said, quoting representatives from the City of Philadelphia Managing Director's office.

The statement says the city "has not ruled out pursuing opportunities for a potential return in 2018."

"We are all disappointed down here in Manayunk," said Stanley Tworek of Human Zoom Bikes and Boards. "We need as much help as possible and one thing taken away, something like that, doesn't help out."

"The race is a neighborhood institution. It is something that people come from all over Philadelphia for and so not having it is terrible. It is bad for the business and it is bad for the community. I guess it is good for the traffic but that is about it," said Chris Maguire of the Tuby Robot Ice Cream Factory.

The Philadelphia tradition has been around for 30 years and is known for its intensely challenging climb up the Manayunk Wall.

Shops in the area say the race and the crowds are always good for business. Fans, participants, and those in the community say calling off the event leaves a void.

"A lot of things are always going out of business but the thing that keeps Manayunk together are these events, such as the bike race," said Gabriella Hudson.

The Manayunk Development Corporation says the cancellation came as no surprise. The group says the city did everything it could to save the race but adds there just wasn't enough money to cover the rising event costs as a result of heightened security demands.

In a statement the Corporation says, "It is our greatest hope that we can bring the race back to Manayunk next year, but we will need greater support from corporations, foundations, philanthropists and even individuals who have loved and attended the race every year."

"The bike community is pretty strong. The cycling community is definitely pretty strong. I am sure by the end of the day I will answer a few calls and emails amongst other shops and bicycle companies and hopefully somebody can get this going even if it is just Manayunk only. I am sure something can be done," said Tworek.
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