BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (VN) — The bid is in and organizers behind the efforts to bring the 2015 world road championships to Richmond, Virginia, are confident. Tim Miller and Lee Kallman told VeloNews that on Tuesday they mailed the application to the UCI and that their bid, which will compete against Oman next month, is well funded and is likely to be well received.
“We both have our own strengths, but everyone I’m talking to feels good,” Miller told VeloNews. “The U.S. is the world’s leading media market and we’re within a day’s drive of 50 percent of the country’s population … the UCI’s mission is to globalize the sport and America is the best place for that.”
Miller and Kallman are the driving force behind the efforts to bring the world championships to Virginia. Both men were in Breckenridge, Colorado, Saturday to take in the fifth stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and sat down with VeloNews.
Miller, formerly a principal at Shadetree Sports, a Richmond-based sports marketing firm, was among the Shadetree staff to announce the bid late last year. Miller subsequently left Shadetree and in May, Miller and Kallman created a non-profit organization, Richmond 2015 Inc., to manage the bid and if they win, the world championships. Miller is the organization’s executive director and Kallman the marketing and communications director.
“We’re akin to an Olympic organizing committee,” said Miller. “It is critical for us to operate as a non-profit so that we don’t have a limiter on our fundraising.”
According the Miller, operating as an NPO allows Richmond 2015 Inc. to pursue both corporate sponsors and fundraising activities to fund the event. Oman’s bid is fully funded, meaning the organizing committee has secured government and private funding to offset the total cost of the event. While Miller and company have secured partial funding, they plan to pursue additional dollars in the three years leading up to the event. The funding issue puts Richmond at a disadvantage, but Miller and Kallman were confident — and according to sources close to the situation who asked not to be named, the committee has received positive feedback from the UCI.
“Reaction from everybody we talk to is that this is a no-brainer,” said Miller. “Ours is not a fully funded, but a well-funded bid… It boils down to what’s the better place for worlds to take place? Obviously. I think and we all think it’s America.”
A few hours after Miller and Kallman met with VeloNews, UCI president Pat McQuaid re-emphasized the importance of globalization for the federation.
“With everything that’s happened since Colorado Springs hosted worlds in 1986, worlds is the one thing that hasn’t come back here in 30 years,” said Kallman. “For globalization to start somewhere, there has to be a base and the U.S. has it.”
Among the members of the UCI management committee is Mike Plant, former USA Cycling president and founder of Medalist Sports. Medalist is the technical partner of Richmond 2015 Inc. and Miller got his start in sports marketing at Medalist.
The Richmond 2015 organization was founded not only to expand fundraising abilities for worlds, but to avoid any public perception of a conflict of interest with the UCI. Darach McQuaid, brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid, is a principal at Shadetree Sports.
“There was definitely a concern about a conflict of interest and how Darach’s involvement would impact the decision-making process,” said Miller. “At this point we have no definitive plans following the bid on whether Darach will be involved or not.”
The UCI management committee will announce the location of the 2015 road world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, on September 21. The Richmond bid includes nine events, with the trade team time trial that debuts next fall kicking things off. Miller said he would not release any route details until after the UCI decision, but did say that there is a “good bit of climbing” and that the road courses would “showcase the unique historical portions of Richmond.”
Joining Miller in Copenhagen for the announcement will be Richmond mayor Dwight C. Jones and a top staffer, and likely Kallman, a representative from the Richmond corporate community and Medalist Sports’ Chris Aronhalt.
Miller said he has received the full support of the mayor’s office since a trip to the UCI headquarters earlier this year.
“The game changing moment was taking the mayor to Aigle, Switzerland, to visit with Pat (McQuaid) and the UCI,” said Miller. “Since that moment, winning this bid has become one of his top priorities.”
VeloNews European correspondent Andrew Hood will be on the ground in Copenhagen for the announcement of the 2015 world road championships location next month.