Monday, February 27, 2012

D-day looming for País Vasco

As reported here late last week, the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica San Sebastián run the rick of cancellation this year due to budgetary shortcomings. A deadline has now been set on when the necessary 150 000 euros will have to found - and time is quickly running out.

According to Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi president Jaime Ugarte, the money will have to be in the bank account by no later than the fifth of March. That's a week from now.

"We're waiting for a solution, but at the time being we've got nothing", Ugarte is quoted as saying. "If the moment comes that we have to say 'we've enjoyed the experience, we've gotten through it and now it's over', then that's what we'll have to say."

Ugarte is in his last year as the head of the organization, and it's stating the obvious that this was not the way he wanted to finish things off. A miracle is needed if both events are to be staged this year, he says.

"I don't think this crisis will solve itself. No one has contacted us so far", he told Cobbles & Hills. "We'll get together tomorrow and make a decision. Then on Monday or Tuesday next week we'll call a press conference. We're totally defeated. Money is the sticking stone. We need a miracle to hold the races this season. If that doesn't happen, the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica San Sebastián will disappear off the calendar".

Yet despite the bleak outlook, Ugarte contradicted himself somewhat when he talked to el Diario Vasco yesterday.

"If I had to put money on it, I'd say no, the race won't be cancelled this year. I don't know what we'll do with future editions, but I personally believe we'll be able to get the race going in 2012".

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