Philadelphia Cycling Championship in Jeopardy Due to $500k Budget Gap

Earlier today, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the TD Bank Philadelphia Cycling Championship may not be held this year due to a $500,000 budget shortfall. This is partially due to the City of Philadelphia's decision to charge the organizers for police and other city costs.

Operation Gadget has covered the Philadelphia Cycling Championship in the past. The 2009 running would be the 25th annual race. This was the USPro Cycling Championship for a number of years.

In order to try to limit their expenses, the Pro Cycling Tour, a local Philadelphia-area business, has apparently cancelled the Reading Classic and the Lehigh Valley Classic. These are two races that have served as a prelude to the Philadelphia Cycling Championship in recent years.

The Pro Cycling Tour has launched a campaign called Embrace The Race in which it's seeking donations from the public to offset the $500,000 deficit. According to an article on their website:

The economic challenges experienced in both corporate and civic circles have converged to create a shortfall in the operating budget of the race’s 25th year, and the reality of the situation is that unless a $500,000 gap can be closed in the next several days, the race will be cancelled.

The loss of this race would be significant to the local cycling community. It would also be a big blow to the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manyunk which has become well known throughout the road cycling world because of the Manyunk Wall. The Wall is an inclined part of the race course that includes Levering Street and part of Lyceum Avenue.