April 4, 2023 — Michael and Kathryn Austin announced recently that The Tour of Walla Walla is cancelled permenantly. The Walla Walla, Washington race had been a mainstay on the Northwest road racing calendar for almost 25 years.
Their announcement is below:
Kathryn and I have made the difficult decision to cancel the Tour of Walla Walla, this year and for the future. We were really hoping to make it a “25th year” of this race but there just are not enough racers that share that sentiment.
All things change with time, road racing being one of them. Interest is waning on the regional and national level. Fewer younger riders are moving up through the ranks, gravel riding has become a force in the industry taking riders away from the road scene. Of course, Covid has played a part in the road racing decline, many riders are simply not returning to racing. We have strived to offer a venue that would provide a setting for competitive Road Stage Racing, and we have! Problem is there are not the numbers nor the enthusiasm from the riders needed to sustain the event. We feed off the enthusiasm, without it we feel a void.
Baker City joined TofWW and TdeBloom this year for the PNW Stage Race Series in hopes that power with numbers would help encourage ridership. Those two events will still be offering to the PNW great racing we had hoped to be a part of. Sign-up! These races need your support to continue. Promoters need the early show of support.
Please allow us a few days to work through refunds as our plates are pretty full – closing our event down.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for past support, for showing up, and for sharing the love of road racing with us; it has been a wonderful 24 year run!
Michael and Kathryn Austin
TOFWW Race Directors
They went on to add a note of thanks:
To the Pacific Northwest (and beyond) Peloton,
Kathryn and I just wanted to let everyone know how much it has meant to us over the years to be the home of the Tour of Walla Walla. We do not discount the disappointment many of you are feeling with our announcement. We’ve given 24 years for the love of the sport, and that means the racers. We’ve made so many new friends over the years; racers, officials, volunteers, etc. because of TOFWW, all will be missed! I could often be heard saying “racing this event is easier then putting it on”, it’s the truth! But we did, year after year and loved it. This isn’t easy and come June there will be void, but it was time. I might now find the time to race again!
Thank you everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the support over the years, it wouldn’t have happened without you, now go race your bikes!
Michael and Kathryn are the owners of Allegro Cyclery in Walla Walla. They are continuing their promotion of the Walla Walla Grit Gravel Race in September.
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