HOST CITIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2008 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIAWorld-Class Cycling Field Will Return to California in February to Compete Across 700 Miles of California Roadway in Eight-Day Stage Race
LOS ANGELES (July 25, 2007) – The 2008 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling road race will take place February 17-24, 2008, as confirmed today by AEG, presenters of the record-setting ‘Tour de France-style’ cycling road race staged across many of California’s most scenic state highways, roadways and coastline drives. Already considered cycling’s most important and successful road race held in the United States, the event’s third running will cover more than 700 miles (increased from 650 miles in 2007) over the eight days.
Through a series of local press conferences and briefings throughout the state, race organizers also announced the 12 official stage start and finish cities that have been selected for the 2008 race, including three new locales – Modesto, Palo Alto and Pasadena – that will join Sacramento, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Seaside and Solvang as host cities along the route.
"We are committed to making the Amgen Tour of California bigger and better every year, continuing to raise the bar for what it means to be the largest, most important cycling race in America," said Shawn Hunter, managing director, Amgen Tour of California. "From the world-class riders and aggressive and challenging competition, to the tremendous amount of support from the fans and host cities, the Amgen Tour of California has grown to become a highly anticipated event within the international cycling community in only two years. Now in our third year, fans can expect the best race yet."
In just two years, the Amgen Tour of California has become the most successful race in the United States, both in attendance and economic growth. The 2007 race drew more than 1.6 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. The race also has generated $100 million in economic growth for the state each year.
Returning for a third year as the title sponsor of the 2008 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 initiative. Based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Amgen's invaluable support of the Amgen Tour of California has helped to ensure its continued success and impact beyond the sporting arena.
"Amgen is excited to join AEG for a third year as the title sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California," said Jim Daly, senior vice president of North America Commercial Operations at Amgen. "We look forward to another great race week and the opportunity to again lead the Breakaway from Cancer initiative to increase awareness of the support and educational resources available to help people living with cancer."
In its first two years, the Amgen Tour of California attracted some of the world's most renowned and respected riders, creating action-packed competition with non-stop excitement. As the winner of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, California resident Levi Leipheimer (USA) of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team already has gone on to win two stages in the Tour of Georgia and is currently racing in fourth place in this year's Tour de France.
"After only two years, the Amgen Tour of California is a great race and is one of the greatest races in the world," Levi Leipheimer, general classification winner of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California and member of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, said this week from France where he is competing. "I think it has a good place on the calendar. More and more of the world’s best want to come. I think next year we will see an even better field. I think it will just continue to grow like that.”
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.
Beginning with the Prologue in Palo Alto through the grand finale in Pasadena, the 2008 race will visit 12 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, while cities along the route will also have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite professional cycling. Stages for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California include:
- Prologue: Sunday, Feb. 17 - Palo Alto
- Stage 1: Monday, Feb. 18 - Sausalito to Santa Rosa
- Stage 2: Tuesday, Feb. 19 - Santa Rosa to Sacramento
- Stage 3: Wednesday, Feb. 20 - Modesto to San Jose
- Stage 4: Thursday, Feb. 21 - Seaside to San Luis Obispo
- Stage 5: Friday, Feb. 22 - Solvang time trial
- Stage 6: Saturday, Feb. 23 - Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
- Stage 7: Sunday, Feb. 24 - Santa Clarita to Pasadena road race, concluding with a circuit race in Pasadena
ABOUT AMGENAmgen 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.
ABOUT AEGAEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Park, and NOKIA Theatre Times Square and London’s O2 Arena; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), three Major League Soccer franchises, a Major League Lacrosse team, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com