Foundry to sponsor bike race

"The first race of the event is actually being able to register," joked Dieter Drake, promoter and director of the race. "Last year, we had about that many [racers signed up now] by race day in April. It took three or four months to get that number of people."

For the first time, the race will host a men's invitational, to be held on Sunday. Foundry's sponsorship will largely go towards providing food, lodging and travel expenses for elite teams that will be coming in from all across North America.

The Foundry sponsorship comes as something of a relief for organizers. Sponsorships from local businesses has been down this year, and the new the cost of bringing in professional teams alone is well over $100,000.

"It really does help quite a bit," said Drake of the sponsorship. "It's a ton of money to put it all together. We would still like to sign a title sponsor [a $100,000 commitment], but times are tough for everybody."

Bullard said that title sponsorship was too much at the moment, but the tour won't be the last that the area sees of Foundry.

"We will look into doing additional things down the road, especially as we get officially launched and get dedicated people in place for community relations," he said.

Washington County businesses will hopefully be helped out when spectators make their way to the region in April. With the invitational race and an ever-expanding presence, organizers expect that well over 20,000 people will descend upon the area.

For information and a future spectator guide, visit www.tourofthebattenkill.com.""

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