The inaugural Exergy Tour women’s cycling race kicks off Thursday. It promises to be a major event for Idaho and for women’s professional cycling.
Tour organizers at a press conference Wednesday afternoon introduced some of the athletes. Dave Towle, a professional race announcer, put it this way, “If you look on the timeline of American cycling, this’ll be one of the most significant weeks we’ve ever had.”
In a question to a rider he described it as, “this is really your Tour de ’France.”
The Exergy Tour website describes the race as, “on par with the most prestigious and competitive races in the world.” The CEO of U.S.A. Cycling Steve Johnson described its standing in more concrete terms.
"It’s unique in that it has the largest, as far as I’m aware of, prize list for a women’s bicycle racing event, which is a hundred thousand dollar total prize purse." Speaking to the racers next to him he added, "I think I heard a 'mmm,' you guys all know that right, that’s why you’re here.”
Boise’s Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Kristen Armstrong described a meeting just last year with the CEO of Boise based Exergy Development James Carkulis. Armstrong says he asked her if they should create the tour. She said yes. He said, "Are you sure, because if we go, we’re going big."