AEG ANNOUNCES HOST CITIES FOR 2007 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
World-Class Cycling Field Returns to California to Compete Across 650 Miles of California Roadway in Eight-Day Stage Race
LOS ANGELES (July 20, 2006) – California's record-setting Amgen Tour of California cycling road race will once again be staged across more than 650 miles of scenic state highways, roadways and coastline drives February 18-25, 2007, announced race presenter AEG through a series of press conferences in the 12 "host" cities selected for the 2007 event.
Beginning with the "traditional" prologue through the streets of downtown San Francisco and traveling over the next week on a newly created course, more than 150 of the world's best professional cyclists will race through "host cities" Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Sacramento (new in 2007), Stockton (new in 2007), San Jose, Seaside (new in 2007), San Luis Obispo, Solvang (new in 2007), Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita (new in 2007), concluding for the first time in Long Beach. The 2007 Amgen Tour of California will be the most significant and important cycling road race held in the United States.
"From the world-class riders and competition to the overwhelming support from over one million fans who attended the inaugural Amgen Tour of California and the critical acclaim from the international cycling community, the bar has been set extremely high for the 2007 Amgen Tour of California," said Shawn Hunter, president, AEG Sports, producers of the event. "While the Amgen Tour of California is already being acknowledged as America's most important cycling event, we remain committed to upgrading and enhancing every element of the race experience for the cyclists, spectators, viewers and sponsors. Along with our presenting partners at Amgen, we are proud to produce this great event which not only showcases the exciting sport of cycling and our beautiful state, but brings tremendous economic impact to California as well."
The Amgen Tour of California became an unqualified success in its inaugural year, both in attendance – 1.3 million spectators setting records for a single sporting event in the State of California as well as any cycling event ever held on U.S. soil – in addition to generating $100 million in economic growth for the state throughout the eight days of the race.
Returning this year as the title sponsor of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, Amgen, the world's leading biotechnology company, will continue to leverage the race to raise awareness and support for people affected by cancer through the Breakaway from CancerTM education and fundraising initiative. Based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Amgen's invaluable support of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California has helped to ensure its success and impact beyond the sporting arena.
"For more than 26 years, Amgen has tapped the power of pioneering science and innovation to discover and develop vital medicines to help in the fight against cancer and other serious illnesses," said Jim Daly, senior vice president, North America commercial operations, Amgen. "From the start, we saw a great opportunity through the Tour of California sponsorship and our complementary Breakaway from Cancer initiative, to further empower cancer patients and their families with education and hope to live well with this disease. We're currently working on exciting enhancements to this year's Breakaway from Cancer efforts that you'll be hearing more about in the weeks and months ahead."
Last year, through the Breakaway from Cancer initiative, Amgen raised more than $1 million to support vital non-profit services and programs for the millions of Americans affected by the disease.
The 2006 Amgen Tour of California attracted some of the world's most renowned and respected riders, creating an action-packed competition for riders and spectators alike. As the winner of the 2006 Amgen Tour of California, California resident Floyd Landis (USA) of Phonak Hearing Systems has already gone on this year to win such races as the Tour of Georgia and the Paris-Nice stage race, and is currently a top competitor in this year's Tour de France.
Sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste International) and USA Cycling, the Amgen Tour of California has drawn the attention of everyone from cycling enthusiasts to first-time spectators, making it one of the most anticipated events on the international cycling calendar.
"We are again proud to welcome the Amgen Tour of California back to the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar," said Steve Johnson, CEO, USA Cycling. "The inaugural edition was a phenomenal event that was integral in putting big-time bicycle racing back on the map in the United States. With a solid foundation on which to build, the Amgen Tour of California is on pace to become one of the top international cycling events in the world, which is paramount in growing the sport in the United States."
Between the opening Prologue in San Francisco and the finale in Long Beach, the 2007 race will visit 12 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, while the many communities along the route will have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite bicycle racing. Host cities for the eight daily stages include: San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Seaside, San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita and Long Beach.
• Prologue: Sunday, Feb. 18 – San Francisco
• Stage 1: Monday, Feb. 19 – Sausalito to Santa Rosa
• Stage 2: Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Santa Rosa to Sacramento
• Stage 3: Wednesday, Feb. 21 – Stockton to San Jose
• Stage 4: Thursday, Feb. 22 – Seaside to San Luis Obispo
• Stage 5: Friday, Feb. 23 – Solvang time trial
• Stage 6: Saturday, Feb. 24 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
• Stage 7: Sunday, Feb. 25 – Long Beach circuit race
*For further information on the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.