Webmaster disables azcycling.com after ABRA votes against renewal

The Arizona Bicycle Racing Association’s webmaster took down the organization’s website Saturday after its board voted against paying him to release the site’s domain.

Albert N. Hopper Jr. disabled azcycling.com Saturday evening after the board voted 3-2 against paying him $1,500 to release the domain, which he owns, board members said.

“I was hoping there would have been a smooth transition to a new webmaster and hosting service,” Hopper Jr. wrote on a message posted on the site after removing its content. “ABRA has chosen to go their way. I wish them all the best in the continued development of the sport.”

Hopper Jr., who wrote in the message that he created the site and maintained it for 20 years, was paid $1,000 per year by the board to run the site, said Joey Iuliano, ABRA vice president.

Current members Melanie Colavito, Iuliano and Marty Ryerson voted against paying for the domain release, while Alan Fischer and Bill Barnes voted for paying Hopper Jr.

“I’m extremely disappointed by this situation,” said Colavito, current ABRA president.

Iuliano called it “an unfortunate scenario and certainly less than ideal. However, this gives us motivation to quickly build a new website in line with what the team representatives asked for at the planning meeting.”

In the meantime, Iuliano said the plan is to get a new URL in place and a temporary landing page with upcoming race fliers while a new site is built.

“Thankfully, we have good social media with Facebook and Twitter so we can still reach riders, and obviously Clipped In is a great resource for us to use too,” Iuliano said.

The current board also met Saturday with board members-elect, assigned board positions and designated member-elect Stefanie Sichler to create and design a new website before January, Iuliano said.

“I look forward to integrating it more with social media and other resources and making it easy for members and potential members to stay up to date with what is going on around the state,” Sichler said.

The new board, which takes office in January, will consist of Joey Iuliano, president; Don Melhado, vice president; Andrea Gonzales-Cinalli, secretary; Bill Barnes, treasurer; and Sichler as member-at-large.

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Sarah Muench