December 15, 2011 – Boise, ID – The Exergy Tour, a new international women’s pro cycling race, will be held in Idaho from May 24-28, 2012. Sponsored by Boise-based Exergy Development Group, the race is expected to become one of the most significant international pro-cycling events on the women’s pro cycling calendar, and will set unparalleled standards for gender parity and opportunity in the sport for women.
“The Exergy Tour shall showcase the power and excitement of women's professional cycling and its growing influence globally, while working at all levels to engage our communities in teaching young girls the benefits that individual and team sports competition can bring throughout their lives,” said James Carkulis, CEO, Exergy Development Group. “Our vision with the Exergy Tour is to communicate this global message and align with relevant organizations dedicated to advancing self confidence, self-esteem and overall well-being of girls and women through physical activity.”
The world’s top women cyclists and teams are expected to compete, with the Exergy Tour positioned on the race calendar as one of the last to provide international ranking points crucial in qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games. The five-day race shall include alpine, high desert and sprint stages highlighting the splendor of Idaho and its welcoming communities. Based on success, the Exergy Tour shall grow quickly to a seven-stage event over eight days of high performance racing, as well as incorporate other stage venues throughout Idaho.
"The Governor and I are thrilled Idaho will host the Exergy Tour in May, bringing with it international attention and inevitably new business opportunities for Idaho as well," First Lady Lori Otter said. "We're proud the rest of the country and the world are continuing to notice Idaho for the active lifestyle it offers, and especially for its growing popularity as a premier cycling community. Sporting events such as the Exergy Tour will spotlight Idaho, drawing economic activity and generating worldwide interest in our state."
Current plans for the inaugural year shall showcase Idaho’s capitol and the surrounding Treasure Valley. The city of Boise shall play an anchor role in this inaugural year, with other host city locations to be announced in early 2012.
"I'm thrilled to see such a world-class cycling competition emerge in our community, Mayor David Bieter said. "Boise has long been a training ground for many local Olympians, and it’s wonderful to see it become a major hub for premier athletic events. The Exergy Tour will shine the spotlight of international cycling on our city as it attracts some of the best athletes in the world to compete prior to the 2012 Olympics. I encourage all Boise residents to volunteer and get out to see what promises to be an exciting and inspirational event. You won't be disappointed."
The Exergy Tour is sanctioned by USA Cycling and shall be the only women’s race in North America with a 2.1 designation by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
“Thanks to the support of Exergy we now have, for the first time in many years, a world-class, UCI women’s stage race in the U.S.,” said USA Cycling President & CEO Steve Johnson. “This event will provide our top American women, who are among the best in the world, with the opportunity to showcase their talent and race on home soil.”
The Exergy Tour marks the return of international women’s stage racing to Idaho. The now defunct International Women’s Challenge was held in Idaho from 1984 to 2002 and was last won by Judith Arndt. The race was known as one of the toughest women’s races in the world. [See some past coverage here: http://www.cyclingutah.com/july/july99/july99.html]
Medalist Sports will oversee the competition and technical production of the Exergy Tour, as well as the development of the local organizing committees in each start and finish venue. Medalist also is the event management arm for the Amgen Tour of California, USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado and the Tour of Utah. H2 BrandWorks, a Boise-based sports marketing and brand strategy company, has been contracted to manage overall marketing, communications, event and title sponsor support for the Exergy Tour.
Volunteer registration is now open for the Exergy Tour, and sponsorship opportunities are available. An estimated 1,500 volunteers will be needed to assist the 5-day Tour in various functions and positions. For more information, or to register to volunteer for the Exergy Tour, please visit http://www.ExergyTour.com. Official event logo and website set to be unveiled in January 2012.