If cycling races were like Frankenstein, then it seems some serious voltage has been pumped into the Parker race weekend... it’s “alive” folks. Before all the villagers can storm the castle with torches and pitchforks, keep reading for background and announcements.
On Friday May 20th we published a story titled “3 Days of Parker Race Cancelled: what happened?” regarding the cancellation of the new Parker event weekend. On May 12th we received reports that a new event had been listed on USA Cycling’s Event page as “pending” – the Parker Mainstreet Criterium? 303 has reached out to the listing organizer of the Mainstreet Criterium, Without Limits Productions, for the scoop on this resurrected event and their comments regarding quotes from former organizing leader Doug Gordon.
303 Media: So is this the criterium course that was cancelled for rumored financial concerns back in late April by the former organizing body?
Lance Panigutti – Without Limits Productions: I really wish I could take credit for the course as it’s one of the best we’ve seen, with a stellar downtown feel and finish line, but it was actually developed by town staff last summer. Yes, it is the same course that was cancelled and we’re excited to see the race come back online. New races for cyclists are like seeing Santa drop off more presents Christmas morning.
303 Media: How did your company get involved after the weekend was fully cancelled?
Lance Panigutti – WOL: Out of respect for the former organizing group I won’t comment on all details of what went down prior to their cancellation. What I do know is that once the rumors started to spread, we received word from a disappointed town looking to consult a professional event production company on future options. After a few phone calls Tony and I sat down and discussed that it would be a step back for the “cycling season of new events” to have a fully open weekend. So with some extra coffee (Red Bull for myself) we decided we could make a Sunday race viable. It was a long night, but 24hrs later we had a fully insured, branded, and permitted race with registration open on the new website. Really the credit rests with the town staff, police, our traffic control contactor, and medical director who all came together to save a great day of cycling on Mainstreet Parker.
303 Media: Why not also perform CPR on the time-trial and road race for a full event weekend?
Lance Panigutti – WOL: Once we discovered that the water pipe project was scheduled for August from PWSD it was extremely tempting. The county and town support have been amazing and we’re confident they would have embraced the time-trial and road race, but there were a couple external factors that had us pump the brakes. Mainly, we’re producing XTERRA Lory, which just sold out, on Saturday June 18th and that’s an extremely demanding event for our staff. It wouldn’t be fair to the XTERRA Triathlon to split our team, or schedule reserve staff this close the event weekend.
303 Media: Are you concerned about the farmer’s market as Doug Gordon stated, “other weekend events cropped up, such as a farmer’s market just west of the course, that would tax traffic control.”
Lance Panigutti – WOL: The farmers market was a known factor since January and something we’re excited about. The farmer’s market organizers are excited too, as they see both events as complimentary to each other. Bring the family down and once dad or mom are done racing we invite you to enjoy a family friendly market just a block away!
303 Media: Why take such a financial risk on an event that Doug Gordon said would lose money, and do you care to comment on Doug Gordon stating, “So Without Limits gets to benefit from all the work we’ve done and cash we’ve spent.”
Lance Panigutti – WOL: We find it kind of ironic and contradictory that the “for profit” production company is somehow financially benefiting from a criterium which Doug Gordon explicatively stated on two occasions would be a losing venture monetarily. In regards to benefiting from “money spent and work done” we will state for the record that we never utilized, nor ever saw, the TCP (Traffic Control Plan) worked up by the former group. I’d say it’s pretty evident that we have a very different style of event production and it wouldn’t be of any benefit to build upon the plans or history of preceding parties. We’ve seen a lot of cities and towns across Colorado in recent years put in place future event moratoriums due to bad experiences. We didn’t feel it was fair for the cycling industry (racing and recreational) to see Parker close its doors due to one negative experience.
303 Media: What’s your take on the cost of the beer garden being a preventing factor moving forward as stated by Doug Gordon?
Lance Panigutti – WOL: We have Ska Brewing beer gardens at a few of our triathlons and the US OPEN of Cyclocross. That cost is nothing new and in line with events around the country. Maybe I’m new to event production, but I didn’t know that a beer garden was a required element to receiving a race permit. Sarcasm aside, the Town of Parker has a number of amazing restaurants just a few walking blocks away. With the town support we’ve received it only seems right to drive athlete traffic to the restaurant district so they can experience all Parker has to offer.
303 Media: What does the future hold for upcoming seasons?
Lance Panigutti – WOL: I’d like to thank the Town of Parker, BRAC Staff, USAC, and everyone involved for helping make this year’s criterium possible. We truly believe it’s a course and venue that will quickly become a Colorado staple. The town is very keen to see and embrace a full weekend of racing under our direction moving forward. So far initial discussions with the county, public works, town staff, and police agencies are all geared towards a full weekend come 2017.
303 Media: Where does that leave the organizing group from earlier this year?
Lance Panigutti – WOL: Out of respect for the former organizing group, and only knowing pertinent details regarding the viability of all three events this season, it’s not our place to comment on the internal workings of what went wrong between prior parties. All we can say is what we’ve seen over the past 9 years of event production in the cycling, triathlon and running world. Where events are announced publicly, only to be cancelled later that season: 95% of these events never come back for a 2nd year, and if they do are never successful long term. It’s our experience that municipalities will bend over backwards for the initial season, but rarely give 2nd chances when a bridge is burned due to lack of commitment or disorganization. Time will tell as to what will happen, we’re just glad that racers will get to race this year and experience Mainstreet Parker.