– Reported by Tailwind Sports –
NEW YORK — Three-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong will race through Lower Manhattan in the first ever New York City Cycling Championship presented by BMC Software, Sunday, August 4, 2002, Bob Beauchamp, president and CEO of BMC Software, announced today. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will be the official charity of the event, produced by Threshold Sports.
Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling team will compete against top-rated American and international cycling teams just one week after the 2002 Tour de France. The 100-kilometer professional cycling race will feature 60-70 top professional cyclists racing through Manhattan’s financial district with the Start/Finish Line at Wall and Water Streets. Working with the New York City Police Department, the Department of Transportation, the NYC Sports Commission and the Alliance for Downtown New York, Threshold Sports has designed a one-mile course through Lower Manhattan streets, which will be challenging to the cyclists and viewer friendly for spectators. The race will be one of 10 official events on the 2002 Pro Cycling Tour and one of only two U.S. races in which Armstrong will compete this season. (The other scheduled race in the U.S. for Armstrong this season is the San Francisco Grand Prix on September 15.)
“The people of New York have always supported me in my effort to overcome adversity and I would like to return the favor in some small measure,” Armstrong wrote to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Competing with world-class professional cyclists on the streets of Lower Manhattan in a highly publicized, well-attended race is one of the most valuable contributions I can make to you and your city.”
“It is a privilege to work with Mayor Bloomberg, the City of New York and Lance Armstrong, a true hero who embodies the triumph of the spirit, as we lead this great annual competition on the streets of Downtown Manhattan,” said Mr. Beauchamp. “New York is one of the most energetic and exciting cities in the world and is a great place to hold what will be one of the most exciting races in sports today.”
“The New York City Cycling Championship presented by BMC Software promises to be a memorable sporting event that will contribute to the city’s healing process,” said New York City Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba. “With Lance Armstrong and a strong field of international riders, we have a real opportunity to focus positive attention on Downtown Manhattan while raising significant funds for Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s vital cancer research.”
“We recognize the significance of this race and what it means to the resurgence of Lower Manhattan. We are proud to be a part of this exciting event and look forward to using the funds in our ongoing effort to better understand and treat cancer,” says Nicole Limbocker, President of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Threshold’s goal is to expand the New York City Cycling Championship presented by BMC Software into a weeklong series with a race in each New York City borough beginning in 2003. Proceeds from the event’s BMC Software Corporate Challenge will benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to help fight cancer, a disease that almost cost Lance Armstrong his life five years ago. At age 25, he was one of the world’s best cyclists before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. With the odds against him, Armstrong embarked on his greatest challenge. Through a combination of outstanding medical care, physical conditioning, strong support from family and friends, and incredible will, Armstrong became a cancer survivor. He returned to the pro peloton in 1998 as a member of the U.S. Postal Service team and heroically won the 1999 Tour de France, the first American riding for an American team ever to do so. He went on to win the Tour again in 2000 and 2001.