Tour: 2008 event slated for April 21

The Covington News - - LO­CAL NEWS -

on Nov. 14 sur­prised mem­bers of the Cov­ing­ton Tour de Ge­or­gia Ex­ploratory Com­mit­tee who had been wait­ing for months for their of­fi­cial bid pack­age from the tour.

Mau­rice Carter, hus­band of Mayor Elect Kim Carter and chair­man of the ex­ploratory com­mit­tee, wrote in an e- mail to The News that since March he had been main­tain­ing con­tact with Medal­ist Sports, the com­pany which man­ages and presents the Tour de Ge­or­gia.

Carter wrote that the ex­ploratory com­mit­tee had sent del­e­ga­tions to sev­eral stages of the 2007 Tour de Ge­or­gia and had been wait­ing for an of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tion to sub­mit a bid to host a race stage in 2008.

“ We never re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to bid, nor any other for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion to say the ap­proach to se­lect­ing host venues had changed,” wrote Carter. “ So, I am nat­u­rally puz­zled by the Lt. Gov­er­nor’s state­ment that the host venues will be an­nounced Nov. 14.”

Ad­dress­ing the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil at their last meet­ing on Nov. 5, Carter said he had briefly talked with Ca­gle about the mat­ter when the lieu­tenant gov­er­nor vis­ited the county ear­lier in Oc­to­ber as the key­note speaker at the rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony for the New­ton County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing.

Carter said he briefed Ca­gle on his con­cerns that Cov­ing­ton had been over­looked as a stage host for 2008. In ad­di­tion State Se­na­tor John Dou­glas and State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Doug Holt have also been in touch with Ca­gle on the mat­ter.

While it may be too late for 2008, Carter told the coun­cil the ex­ploratory com­mit­tee is build­ing bridges with the lieu­tenant gov­er­nor’s of­fice in hopes that the city will be se­lected to host a stage of the tour in 2009.

The 2008 Tour de Ge­or­gia will be held from April 2127 and will in­clude 10 host venues. One of the largest cycling races out­side of Europe, since its estab­lish­ment in 2003, the Tour de Ge­or­gia has at­tracted 2.8 mil­lion spec­ta­tors and in 2007 con­trib­uted $ 27 mil­lion in di­rect eco­nomic im­pact to Ge­or­gia cities.

For more on the Tour de Ge­or­gia visit: www. tour­de­ge­or­gia. com.

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