LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2015) – The 2016 Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG, will once again bring World Champions, Olympic Medalists, top Tour de France competitors and other elite professional cyclists to the highways, byways and ocean vistas of California for an 8-day, 800+ mile race May 15-22, 2016.
As California gears up to host one of its biggest annual sporting events, cycling enthusiasts of all levels can register to join Amgen Tour of California Race Ambassadors and international legends Jens Voigt and Freddie Rodriguez on a preview ride of Stage 3 in the sixth annual L’Etape California on April 24, 2016. Registration is now open at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/letapecalifornia. Pricing begins at $110 with early registration before Jan. 8.
Voigt, a fan-favorite who competed in 17 Tour de France events and every edition of the Amgen Tour of California up until his retirement in 2014, is returning as race ambassador for the second year and will be on the course greeting fans every day, serving as an advisor to race organizers and providing commentary on the daily live television broadcasts as well as within the official Tour Tracker.
"I've been there for every Amgen Tour of California, and each one is better than the last. I'm lucky to get to spend this edition with some of the best fans in cycling," said Voigt.
Having retired after last season, four-time U.S. National Road Race Champion, Rodriguez, joins as a new ambassador this year and will be on hand during training and preview rides leading to the May race, where he too will interact with fans at stage starts and finishes.
"As I enter a new phase of my cycling career, I can't think of a better way to continue on in the sport I love than to be part of America's biggest and best race," said Rodriguez.
Kicking off with their first "official" tweets today, the ambassadors will keep in touch with Amgen Tour of California fans with regular postings on their and the race's social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, through the race's final day when the 2016 champion is crowned.
L'ETAPE CALIFORNIA: April 24
105 miles, 8,400 feet elevation gain
Ride the critical Queen Stage from Thousand Oaks to the Gibraltar Road Summit Finish in Santa Barbara County, just like the pros will! In previous years, team staff and professionals training locally have tackled the L’Etape California course as specific preparation for the Amgen Tour of California. In 2015, fans conquered the iconic Mt. Baldy climb, and this year the ride will feature a first-time climb and summit finish up the recently resurfaced Gibraltar Road, which fans have asked to see for years.
The point-to-point ride will begin in Thousand Oaks, home to race title sponsor, Amgen. From there, the riders will descend the famous Mulholland Highway to Pacific Coast Highway for a scenic tour of the Santa Monica Mountain range before cruising to the strawberry fields of Oxnard. The route will pass through the classic California surf town of Ventura along the coast before beginning the challenging part of the ride featuring many rolling hills in the approach to the Gibraltar Road finish climb. On the ride up to the summit, riders will experience spectacular 180-degree views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean throughout 10 kilometers that ascend at an average grade of 8%. Participants can join Voigt in shouting his classic mantra "Shut Up Legs" during the toughest moments of the ride.
After reaching the summit, riders will enjoy a breathtaking view from 3,300 feet before descending to the beach in Santa Barbara for a celebratory post-ride meal on the waterfront. An affordable shuttle service from Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks will be available for the riders’ convenience but must be reserved in advance at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/letapecalifornia.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California's iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning "beyond category"), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at amgentourofcalifornia.com.
This year, the men's course will traverse nearly 800 miles over eight days and wind through 12 host cities, including San Diego, South Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara County, Morro Bay, Monterey County, Lodi, South Lake Tahoe, Folsom, Santa Rosa and Sacramento. The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM will run for the latter half of the men’s race (May 19-22) as the U.S. debut event on the first-ever UCI Women's WorldTour (WWT).
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Founder and operators of the Amgen Tour of California, AEG 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, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Microsoft Theater, L.A. LIVE and PlayStation Theater; sports franchises including the LA Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers; 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.
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Michael Roth, AEG
Josh Levitt, Canvas Blue