NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The pandemic has caused another event to say wait until next year: the New Haven Grand Prix cycling race has been canceled.
The race was scheduled for this Friday. In past years, the race, organized and promoted by the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP), has been paired with the apizza feast and New England Brewing Company beer garden. It draws a crowd of nearly 15,000 spectators.
With the spread of the Delta variant, CCAP and the City of New Haven decided it was safer to postpone the event until next year.
“It’s not just the several hundred racers we have, but it’s the crowd sizes. It’s the number of people on the sidewalks, seven deep watching a very exciting event, and… the crowds don’t disperse right when the event ends. They head into bars. Obviously, it’s a great night for the city,” said Jed Kornbluh, CCAP executive director.
He added they just wouldn’t be able to control the crowd size. A fundraiser will still be held at the Union League Cafe on Friday. The ConnectiCare Grand Fondo, which starts at Hammonasset Beach State Park, will be held virtually on Saturday.
This year’s cancellation comes after last year’s event was also canceled because of the pandemic. Is there a concern that out of sight means out of mind?
“I would love to see 20,000 people on the streets of New Haven,” Kornbluh said. “I think people are really craving an event like this. I think we’ll be back bigger and better than ever.”