Quotes from Kick-off Press Conference
State of the 'Tour' / State of the SportSaturday, February 17, 2007
Shawn Hunter, President, AEG Sports"The 18 best cycling teams in the world are ready. The city of San Francisco and 11 other host cities are ready. More than 1,000 volunteers statewide are ready. As we launch America's most important cycling race, we give our commitment to the million-plus spectators who will witness our event, the more than 100 million who will tune in on TV and to our Web site, and the 144 of the best cyclists ever, that not only will we present a first-class race but we will stay focused on making the Amgen Tour of California a race as respected worldwide as the Tour de France and other Grand Tours."
Phyllis Piano, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Philanthropy, Amgen"This is a great way to showcase our biotechnology and the way that it helps cancer patients… This sponsorship gives us the opportunity to get the message across in the cycling world that our products have great medical benefits."
Sean Petty, Chief Operating Officer, USA Cycling"The Amgen Tour of California was like winning the lottery for USA Cycling. The Amgen Tour of California was so hugely popular in its first year that it created a major ripple effect. The number of Union Cycliste Internationale road races in the USA has increased from six to 14 in the past year."
Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team"Last year I had very good legs in the prologue time trial and unexpectedly wore the yellow jersey on Stage 1, which finished in my hometown of Santa Rosa. That was one of the best days of my cycling career. So I am very motivated this year to win the Prologue, but overall I'm aiming to win the general classification (race overall)."
George Hincapie, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team"This race organization sets the standard for European race organizers to follow by asking the riders what can be done to improve the race."
Bobby Julich, Team CSC"Myself and the CSC team expect to be animators in this race. Dave Zabriskie is one of the guys we're expecting to do well."
David Zabriskie, Team CSC"The Solvang time trial is a little shorter than last year's and will not create such big gaps between the top guys. The race win could be decided in other stages with some little surprises here and there."
Paolo Bettini, Quick Step-Innergetic, reigning world champion, road race"I am really looking forward to racing in California. I am from a town called La California in Italy, so now I get to see the main California. So for me, this is both a professional and a personal pleasure."
Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank Cycling Team"When I heard this race was on the team roster for this year, I was the first to sign up. I raced (in my former career) as a mountain biker in California and I enjoy coming here."
"While many of the Europeans regard this as a really nice race to start the season, for the Americans this is like the world championships. Some of them may have been training since last October for it."