OVERVIEW: America's most successful cycling race, the recently expanded Amgen Tour of California, is a nine-day “rolling festival” through California that is one of the nation’s largest and most recognized annual sports events. Expanded in 2009, both in duration and state footprint, this international, world-class cycling road race features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world competing for the highest prize purse of any cycling race in North America. One of the only American races listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2. HC ranking), the Amgen Tour of California awards important world-ranking points to the top finishers. The Amgen Tour of California will bring the drama and excitement of a professional cycling stage race, along with complementary events and festivals planned in each of the host cities along the route, to the California coast for a fourth year in 2009.
WHEN & WHERE: Recently expanded to nine consecutive days, from February 14-22, 2009, the Amgen Tour of California will showcase more than 800 miles of scenic California highways, roadways and coastline drives. The 16 host cities include: Sacramento, Davis (new city for 2009), Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Santa Cruz (new city for 2009), San Jose, Modesto, Merced (new city for 2009), Clovis (new city for 2009), Visalia (new city for 2009), Paso Robles (new city for 2009), Solvang, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Rancho Bernardo (new city for 2009) and Escondido (new city for 2009).
TEAMS: Teams and riders participating in the fourth annual race will include Tour de France top competitors, world champions and Olympic medalists. ATTENDANCE: The 2008 Amgen Tour of California drew 1.6 million spectators from February 17-24, surpassing the first two years’ turnouts and continuing to set records in attendance for any single sporting event in California, as well as for any cycling event ever held in the United States. Additionally, fans and enthusiasts from across the United States and around the world tuned in to the action via nightly television broadcast updates and online at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. ECONOMIC IMPACT: Each year, the Amgen Tour of California and related activities have had an estimated economic impact of more than $100 million on the participating host cities throughout the course of the race.
FESTIVAL: The Amgen Tour of California will once again feature a free Lifestyle Festival in each finish city with family-friendly activities, demonstrations and cycling displays.
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SPONSOR: Returning this year as the title sponsor of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, Amgen will continue to leverage its race sponsorship to raise awareness of its mission to serve patients and the promise of medical breakthroughs made possible through biotechnology. In line with its mission, Amgen is striving to make a real impact nationwide by further supporting cancer patients and their families through the Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative. In 2008, through Breakaway from CancerTM, Amgen raised awareness and funds for two vital, nonprofit programs benefiting millions of Americans affected by the disease: The Wellness Community, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free support, education and hope to people affected by cancer; and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, which advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and empowers cancer survivors. Based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Amgen's invaluable support of the Amgen Tour of California has helped to ensure its success and impact beyond the sporting arena.