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Road Race Has One Year Left to Meet Big Goal

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With the UCI Road World Championships exactly a year away from arriving in Richmond, the Richmond 2015 Committee declines to detail the progress of its $21 million fundraising campaign.

In March 2013, the committee announced that it had passed the halfway point, raising $11 million from such hefty corporate donors as Altria, CarMax, Dominion and Genworth Financial. The City of Richmond and the state also have committed $2 million each.

Paul Shanks, a spokesman for 2015, says the organization is on track to meet its fundraising goal. But saying progress is "well over halfway" is as specific as he'll get.

Last year, organizers said the next step in their fundraising was to seek national and international sponsors. Those agreements are still coming together, Shanks says.

"As planned, we've seen a tremendous amount of positive activity in recent months," Shanks says. "We've recently signed a couple of partnerships that we're really excited about and we'll be announcing those specifics in the coming months."

Members of the Richmond 2015 Committee are traveling with the mayor and other city officials this week for the 2014 championships, held in Ponferrada, Spain. Jones will be there a few days and primarily is attending as host of a reception about next year's race.

News media there report that the race is expected to cost that city $14.1 million. Of that, about $6.4 million is paid to the Union Cycliste Internationale for the rights to hold the race.

Shanks cautions against comparing Ponferrada with Richmond. He says American consumers expect more ancillary events such as concerts and VIP hospitality. "In Spain the event will be primarily a big bike race," he says. "Richmond 2015 will be more akin to a giant festival with a big bike race running through it."

In Richmond, the race will run Sept. 19-27. Organizers estimate that the event will draw 450,000 spectators and "hundreds of millions" of television viewers. Earlier this month, the 2015 committee announced that it had reached a deal to bring daily live coverage to Universal Sports and NBCSN, with coverage of the race's last day on NBC and CNBC.

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