WILMINGTON, Del. -- New York developer Donald Trump said Tuesday that Delaware's largest city will be the starting point for this year's Tour de Trump bicycle race, an 11-day competition traveling through 13 cities.
Trump joined Delaware officials in Wilmington to discuss details of the race, in its second year. This year's event will begin in Wilmington May 4 and conclude more than 1,000 miles later in Boston on May 13.
Trump said that after the 1989 race, every city on the East Coast was fighting to host a stage of the race this year.
'Last year with Tour de Trump everybody wanted to know what is it, where is it, how's it going to be. And it turned out to be a tremendous success,' said Trump.
Trump's appearance at the news conference drew a larger than usual crowd, primarily because of reports about his impending divorce from his wife, Ivana, after 12 years of marriage. He refused to respond to questions about the divorce, and to statements by his wife's attorney that Ivana Trump would seek more money than was arranged for in a pre-nuptial agreement.
Trump instead said he preferred to discuss the Tour de Trump, which is expected to draw about 126 racers, including Tour de France champion Greg LeMond and 1989 Tour de Trump winner Dag-Otto Lauritzen of Norway.
Race Director Michael Plant also said that the 7-Eleven and 'Z' racing teams will also be competing in the U.S. version of the famed French bike race.
Plant said that Wilmington was a good place to begin the race because of its location and the city's interest in hosting the event.
Plant said, in turn, Wilmington will benefit because of the national and international media attention the race is expected to receive.
'The focus will always be on where a sporting event started,' said Plant.
The projected cost of the 11-day event will run at about $4.5 million. Plant said Trump will put up $750,000, and the balance will come from NBC Sports, Jefferson Pilot Teleproductions and other corporate sponsors.
Officials said NBC has already guaranteed six hours of coverage to the race.
A time trial to determine the leader for the beginning of the race will be held May 3 in Wilmington. After leaving Wilmington, the race moves on to Baltimore and then Virginia.