Richmond 2015, the organizing committee charged with putting on the UCI Road World Championships, faces two major deadlines in the coming months as it prepares to host the international bicycle races here in 3½ years.
The committee must have the parameters of a television broadcasting deal in place by July and have initial financial commitments in place by November, said Gerrit Middag, the marketing and events director for Union Cycliste Internationale, the Swiss-based world governing body.
“We need people to keep very sharp,” Middag said in an interview Friday. “It’s not a small event.”
However, he added, “I am very happy with what I see.”
Middag was in Richmond for two days this week to evaluate the city and speak with officials in order to make sure the preparations for the 2015 championships are on pace. His schedule included a reception Thursday night at the downtown Richmond headquarters of NewMarket Corp. overlooking the James River.
Officials with Richmond 2015 say they are confident they will meet the UCI deadlines.
“From our vantage point, the organization is running well and the business community has been extremely supportive,” said Robert M. Blue, a senior vice president at Dominion Resources Inc. and a member of the Richmond 2015 board.
Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion Resources’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, is one of four co-chairmen of Richmond 2015, along with Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Gov. Bob McDonnell, and U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va.
Jones led the effort to land the world championships and attended the award announcement by UCI during the races in September in Copenhagen.
Middaq used his first visit to Richmond to scope out facilities to house race operations and UCI delegation, as well as the proposed race course, which organizers declined to disclose.
The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond will serve as the official residence for UCI’s staff and governing board for the nine-day event.
Middag said he was particularly happy with the Greater Richmond Convention Center, which organizers said would serve as “the hub” of the races and related activities.
“You can have everything there, which is absolutely fabulous,” he said, citing plans by UCI to set up all of its operations in the convention center, including meeting rooms, a media center, and possibly an exposition area.
The Road World Championships, tentatively scheduled to begin Sept. 19, 2015, are expected to bring more than 450,000 people to the area.
Among those expected to make the trek to Richmond will be
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