I was hoping I would never have to write those words.
I just got off the phone with Marla Emde of Emde Sports and the Spokane Regional Sports Commission. USA Cycling chose Bend, OR over Spokane citing stronger “Community support” for the event in Bend. Say what?
According to Marla USA Cycling wasn’t asking for a big rally of community support in their site visit, they communicated that their primary concern was for their athletes experience. Emde says that’s what the SRSC concentrated on athlete experience in the site visit. But the USA Cycling folks flew in the night before our big 19″-in-24 hours snowstorm. Could that have affected their decision? They announced Bend as the site just a few days later on December 23rd.
How could the athlete experience be better in Bend? most riders will have to fly into Portland and drive 4 hours to Bend. Spokane has more and better hotels. And more bike shops. And great places to eat.
Emde says that Emde Sports has been doing USA Cycling sanctioned races for years and was hoping to be rewarded with a national, especially when the bid, according to her, had strong backing from Western Washington cyclocross folks. USA Cycling doesn’t even have any sanctioned races in Oregon because Oregon has its own XC organization. Lame!
Did the USA Cycling folks have their minds made up before they got here? Was Spokane just not as cool as Bend? I’ve got a call into the them. We’ll see what they say.