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DALLAS - Hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists, community leaders, and cancer survivors converged on the Hyatt Regency Dallas today to celebrate the announcement by United Supermarkets and Market Street of the first-ever United Texas Tour planned for fall 2005.
The professional cycling tour is scheduled to be the longest multistage race in the United States, and will pass through more than 50 Texas cities in which United Supermarkets and Market Street currently operate stores. The race is a fully sanctioned event by USA Cycling, the official governing body for professional cycling competitions in the United States. As one of very few sanctioned events in America, the United Texas Tour can expect to attract many of the world's best national trade teams and top Division I professional racers to Texas. Set at $175,000, the race will also feature the richest purse of its kind in America.
The tour will begin in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area and for 10 days will pass along the Red River through Wichita Falls, through Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, then through Lubbock and Abilene on its way back to the Metroplex. The cycling stages will vary from shorter-circuit races to long-stage races of up to 150 miles.
"The economic impact of the race on local communities will be substantial. Close to 1,000 people will pass through each community, from the racers themselves, to the international press and additional members of the racing entourage, to tourists from around the world," said Dan Sanders, United Supermarkets' chief marketing officer.
United Supermarkets and Market Street are also using the race to raise funds for cancer support programs. Employees are committing a donation of $250,000 that will help cancer survivors and their families. "We're hoping that money raised by this event will help researchers continue their efforts to find a cure for cancer," Sanders said. "Cancer survivorship is a very personal cause within the United family, as many of our co-workers and family members have fought and are continuing to fight against this disease. The United Texas Tour is an extension of our ongoing commitment to the communities in which we live.
"More than anything else, the United Texas Tour is about being united, it's about participating in something big that benefits our smaller and larger markets equally," Sanders added.
Lubbock-based United Supermarkets, Ltd., operates 47 stores throughout west and north central Texas under three names: United Supermarkets, Market Street, and United Supermercado.