26 Feb 2012

Two top Spanish races face axe due to economic crisis

9:38 am on 26 February 2012

Spain's economic crisis could derail two of its top cycle races, the Tour of the Basque Country stage race and the one-day San Sebastian Classic.

The organisers say the races are in danger of disappearing with organising company the Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi facing a shortfall of 150,000 euros in this year's budget for both races.

The 31-year-old San Sebastian Classic, which takes place in August, is Spain's biggest one-day Classic and the 51-year-old Tour of the Basque Country, held in April, is second only to the Tour of Spain in terms of importance in the country.

Cancellation would mean only two Spanish races, the Tour of Spain and Tour of Catalunya, remained in cycling's top league, the World Tour.

In Spain's embattled economy, a lack of sponsors has caused cycling's calendar to shrink with another top event, the Bicicleta Vasca stage race, fusing under economic pressure with the Tour of the Basque Country two years ago.

Other top races like the Vuelta a Valencia, Setmana Catalana and GP Luis Puig have disappeared in recent years because of financial pressures.