USA Pro Challenge Might Not Return
Race lost $2 million this year
On Sunday, USA Pro Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter said there is no guarantee that the annual cycling race in Colorado will be held next year, according to Cycling News. Despite its fan base, international television coverage, and elite athletes, the USA Pro Challenge has failed to become profitable in its five-year existence due to the lack of a title sponsor. The race lost $10 million in the inaugural race in 2011, and lost $2 million this year, according to the Denver Post.
The USA Pro Challenge was founded by father-son duo Richard and Rick Schaden. As the owners of Smashburger, Tom’s Urbanb, and Live Basil Pizza, the Schaden’s have been able to keep the Pro Challenge afloat with their own financial resources, investing at least $20 million into the race. But the Schadens were involved in a fraud lawsuit, and some have suggested that the best thing for the race is for the Schadens to sell it, the Denver Post reports.
“I think it might be appropriate to hand it off,” Ken Gart, a local business owner who helps Govenor John Hickenlooper develop bicycle infrastructure in Colorado, told the Denver Post.
The Schadens, however, hope to keep the race by garnering more financial support from the state government and local tourism industries.
“This is not a sellable race, in my opinion,” Rick Schaden told the Denver Post. “We will be working the phones real hard for a little more government support and a little more support from cities that benefit.”