Revenue for the USA Pro Challenge cycling race was up 15% from last year's race as of Aug. 1, and organizers said that "they'll hit their budget," according to Ed Sealover of DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL. After 2½ years of "racking up increasing sponsorships and spectator support," the event "hit an eerie slowdown in the first few months" this year after Lance Armstrong admitted to using PEDs. But USA Pro Challenge CEO & co-Chair Shawn Hunter said that "any concerns that his confession would hurt the entire sport and the now-signature American road-racing event evaporated by the second quarter" of this year. The event has added new sponsors, while "new hotels are offering packages to attract visitors and host cities for the seven stages of the race are marketing themselves more than in past years." Hunter said that sales of corporate hospitality tents, which are "just about the only source of ticket revenue other than individual VIP tickets for the largely free event," are up 30% over last year. The new sponsors that have "come on board" include Clif Bar, Jelly Belly and Novo Nordisk. Race organizers also "found more local sponsors," including FirstBank and Colorado State Univ. Also, Visit Denver VP/Marketing & Business Development Justin Bresler said that the organization "nearly doubled its advertising spending on the race this year." Meanwhile, race organizers "hope to attract more celebrities to raise the sport's profile." Hunter said that Basketball HOFer Bill Walton "will have a role in the race this year" and officials are "trying to land rocker Dave Matthews" (DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/9 issue).