The City of Palo Alto
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 07/25/2007
Palo Alto/Stanford is “Overall Start” for 2008 AMGEN Tour of California
World-Class Cycling Returns to California in February to Compete Across 700 Miles
Chris Mogensen, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Palo Alto, City Manager's Office 650-329-2512
Los Angeles, CA – 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, 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.
This is the first year that Palo Alto and Stanford University have teamed up to host a segment of the race. "I am very pleased that Palo Alto has been chosen as the Start City, together with Stanford University, for the 2008 Tour of California," said Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto. "Palo Alto has a world-class biking culture and community, from our technology CEOs and venture capitalists who enjoy climbing the hills in our greenbelt open space, to families who bike to the local farmers market. We also have an enthusiastic Safe Routes to School group to train our next generation of bicyclists. This longstanding activism and enthusiasm makes our community a perfect place to showcase this world class 2008 cycling event."
According to John Hennessy, Stanford University President, "Anyone who has spent even a little bit of time on the Stanford campus knows that bicycles and cycling are very much at the heart of Stanford life. This enthusiasm earned widespread recognition earlier this year when our cycling team took home the team title at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships. Therefore, Stanford is especially pleased to partner with Palo Alto in hosting the Overall Start of the Tour of California, an event that focuses attention on physical fitness and encouraging healthy lifestyles. In that way, the goals of the the university, its Medical Center and the Tour are in absolute accord, and we are proud to collaborate on an event that has quickly become one of the premier cycling events in North America."
"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. With more than 3 million spectators over the past two years, 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 education and fundraising 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 the past two years of the Amgen Tour of California, through the Breakaway from Cancer TM initiative, Amgen has raised more than $1 million to support vital non-profit services and programs for the millions of Americans affected by the disease.
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 also will 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
*For further information on the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com
Amgen 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.
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, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Park, and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), four 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) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the
Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization’s liveentertainment 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. Additionally, the company has begun fully developing London’s 28-acre Millennium Dome which includes a 23,000-seat arena, the O2 and over 650,000sf of leisure
and entertainment use within the ‘Dome’ and additional arenas, The O2 World on a 45-acre site in the heart of Berlin and in Ontario, California as well as a soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com
About the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University
Palo Alto and Stanford University form the hub of one of the most dynamic, exciting, beautiful and distinctive areas nationwide. The two closely related communities are considered the birthplace of the high technology region known as Silicon Valley. Palo Alto, whose borders extend from San Francisco Bay to the Skyline Ridge of the coastal mountains, is a vibrant community of 62,000 residents and 6,000 businesses that values both the natural environment and high-tech innovation. Palo Alto has recreational amenities of cities twice its size, as well as world-class shopping and dining. The City has the distinction
of being the first Green Power Community in California, and is proud of its 4,000 acres of open space, 34 parks and more than 30 miles of bike lanes.
Stanford University, one of the world’s leading research universities, contributes to the region’s lively intellectual, cultural and artistic environment. Stanford has an undergraduate and graduate student population of nearly 15,000 and boasts a faculty that includes 17 Nobel laureates. The university has helped spawn some 3,000 companies in high technology and other fields.