Inaugural AMGEN Tour of California Professional Cycling Race Prepares to Take to the Roads of California in February 2006
AEG Reveals Dates, Route, Title and Broadcast Sponsor for Highly Anticipated Tour de France Style Stage RaceLOS ANGELES, November 2, 2005 - California will provide the stunning backdrop for the inaugural Amgen Tour of California in February 2006, a professional cycling race modeled after the Tour de France, the details of which were announced by race presenter AEG today. From February 19-26, 2006, 16 professional cycling teams from around the world will compete across 700 miles of scenic California roadway from San Francisco to Redondo Beach, Calif. in the UCI- and USA Cycling-sanctioned race. Amgen, Inc, the world's leading biotechnology company (based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.), is the race's title sponsor. ESPN2 is the official broadcast partner.
Six world-class teams including Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA), Gerolsteiner (GER), Davitamon-Lotto (BEL) and Phonak Hearing Systems (SUI), Saunier Duval Prodir (ESP) and Credit Agricole (FRA) and the T-Mobile Team (GER), were also announced as the first professional teams confirmed to race in the Amgen Tour of California. In addition, two of the top professional cycling teams in North America, the Health Net Pro Cycling Team, presented by Maxxis, and the Navigators Insurance Pro Cycling Team, will compete in the race. Team representatives along with mayors, other civic officials and a who's who of the international cycling community were on hand to discuss the eight-day stage race which will travel through San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, the Monterey Peninsula, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks to finish at Redondo Beach.
AEG estimates that more than one million spectators will line the route, with millions more tuning in to ESPN2 and other broadcasts daily to watch the event.
"We are proud to present the Amgen Tour of California. The event will celebrate not only the athleticism and grace of cycling but also the beauty of the state of California, which will be on display for everyone to see - both on television and in person along the route," said Timothy J. Leiweke, CEO & President, AEG. "The Amgen Tour of California will soon take its place among the sport's best, most respected races."
Also announced today, Amgen, the world's leading biotechnology company, has been signed as the title sponsor of the race.
"Amgen discovers and develops vital medicines that over the years have helped millions of patients fight cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses," said Kevin Sharer, Amgen's chairman and CEO. "We are associating our name with this premier cycling event to underscore the value of a healthy lifestyle, promote medical breakthroughs made possible through biotechnology and emphasize the proper use of our medicines."
Amgen also announced today a Breakaway from CancerTM initiative - a complementary component to the race sponsorship. Through the Breakaway from Cancer effort, Amgen will partner with The Wellness Community, an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education and hope for people affected by cancer, and Discovery Channel professional cycling team member and 10-time Tour de France veteran George Hincapie to raise awareness and funds to support valuable services and programs that help cancer patients and caregivers.
"This race will bring together some of the finest competitors in cycling on an unprecedented scale in California, and we are thrilled to help bring the excitement of international bicycle racing to the doorsteps of communities across the state," said Robert Colarossi, managing director of the Amgen Tour of California.
In addition to the core race, the Amgen Tour of California will extend the cycling experience to the communities it touches with a unique weeklong "rolling festival." Eight finishline cities will offer health and wellness festival style expos including health screenings, information and entertainment.
ESPN2 will serve as the official broadcast partner for the Amgen Tour of California, giving cycling fans an outlet to follow the action, with one dedicated hour of broadcast time on each race day.
The Amgen Tour of California is sanctioned by the USA Cycling and UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), an international non-profit organization that regulates the sport of cycling. It is not only the longest domestic race with the largest number of UCI-pro cycling teams, but it also awards the most prize money for any professional race in the United States.
Race organizers are now accepting volunteer applications for the event. For route maps, tour updates, volunteer applications or more information, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Sports Center, NOKIA Theater Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and London's Manchester Evening News Arena; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy, Metrostars and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), three hockey franchises operated in Europe, the Hammarby (Sweden) Futbol Club and management of shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) owned by Philip Anschutz; AEG Marketing, a sponsorship, Details Announced for Amgen Tour of California sales, naming rights and consulting company; AEG Merchandising, a multi-faceted merchandising company; and AEG Creative, a full-service marketing and advertising agency. AEG LIVE, one of the world's leading promoters of live concerts and other special events is also owned by AEG which is headquartered in Los Angeles.