First ever Women's Criterium will take place in Santa Rosa, February 18th during 2008 Amgen Tour of CaliforniaProfessional Women's Cycling Event to be Held During Stage 1 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1, 2008 – Adding to the excitement generated throughout the last two years in Santa Rosa, the state of California and throughout the international cycling community by the most successful cycling race in the United States, AEG has announced details of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium presented by the Redwood Regional Breast Center. Using portions of the Stage 1 men’s finishing circuit in Santa Rosa, the newest addition to the National Racing Calendar (NRC) promises to be an exciting and historic event for racers and fans alike. As the season opening NRC event, the Women's Criterium will pave the way for similar races to be included in U.S. professional men's road cycling races.
"The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium, a race within a race, is the ideal way to launch and showcase this exciting new edition to our schedule of events, while presenting these great women cyclists to the tens of thousands who will see them along the route in downtown Santa Rosa. I am proud to be the race director of the event’s inaugural edition," said Laura Charameda, race director, Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium. "Even cycling’s top events, such as the Tour de France, have women’s events that attract the top female cyclists from around the world. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium has the potential to emerge into such an event with international athletic importance."
As a new component to the 2008 Amgen Tour of California professional road cycling race, the Women’s Criterium will bring the thrill of professional women’s cycling to fans in the hours before the men’s finish in downtown Santa Rosa. Held in conjunction with Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California on Monday, Feb. 18, the Women's Criterium will consist of a field of 125 riders competing for more than $10,000 in prizes. Back to defend her title is the 2007 NRC Overall Individual Winner, Laura Van Guilder of the Cheerwine Women's Professional Cycling Team. Set as a category Pro 1,2 race and with a limit of eight riders per team, the Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium will showcase some of the world's top professional women's cycling teams.
"The 2008 NRC calendar has done a great job of stepping up and meeting the rise in popularity and talent in the women's peloton, and the Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium is the perfect headliner event," said Anna Lang, professional cyclist, Aaron's Pro Women's Cycling Team. "The promoters have done a great job of course selection and ensuring a good turnout of the top teams. This event will be a good preview of the season."
"When the city officials and Local Organizing Committee heard that Santa Rosa had been chosen for this very special event, we were elated and immediately set to work to roll out the red carpet and give a warm Santa Rosa welcome to these elite athletes," said Maureen McElroy, co-chair of the Santa Rosa (local) Organizing Committee. "Our city is very proud to be an alumni city for the third straight year and to be selected for yet another expanded role in the Amgen Tour of California."
America's most successful cycling race, the Amgen Tour of California, is an eight-day “rolling festival” through California that has in its first two years already become one of the nation’s largest and most recognized annual sports events. This international, world-class cycling road race features 17 elite professional teams and athletes from around the world, competing for the highest prize purse of any cycling race in North America. The Amgen Tour of California will bring the drama and excitement of a professional cycling stage race to the California coast for a third year in 2008, from Feb. 17-24.
“We are proud to present the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium, which will celebrate the athleticism and grace of women's professional cycling," said Kristin Bachochin, senior director of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. "This race will bring together some of the finest competitors in women's professional cycling, and we are thrilled to add this component to the United States' most successful cycling race."
“Watching these top-notch athletes compete is going to be an exciting part of the day’s activities, and the Redwood Regional Breast Center is very proud to be a part of it,” said Shahab Dadjou, CEO of the Redwood Regional Medical Group. “This event is becoming a unique part of the community and it needs local businesses to step up and become involved to remain viable. It’s only natural that our Breast Center – located just a few blocks away from the course - lead the way and support the first women’s cycling race on the National Racing Calendar.”
About the Amgen Tour of CaliforniaThe largest cycling event in America, the 2008 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style road race presented by AEG that will challenge the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding 650-mile course from Palo Alto-Stanford University to Pasadena from February 17-24, 2008.
About the Redwood Regional Breast CenterRedwood Regional Breast Center is located in Santa Rosa, Calif. The facility is Sonoma County’s only comprehensive center for the treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer. The Breast Center utilizes a unique and integrated approach to caring for patients beginning with regular mammograms at their facility. In the event of a positive diagnosis, patients are under the care of a group of board certified radiologists, oncologists and surgeons working side-by-side in the same building. Every aspect of each patient’s care is customized by a team of doctors and orchestrated by a breast care coordinator. The Breast Center also offers support and survivorship programs, genetic testing and access to nationally based clinical trials. For more information, visit redwoodbreastcenter.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, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two 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, 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 aegworldwide.com.
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Media Contacts - Amgen Tour of California
Redwood Regional Breast Center
707-292-7715 or 707-525-4069
707-292-7715 or 707-525-4069