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Old July 30th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #1
612bv3
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Tour of California

I just found this interesting article, it's a few months old, so I don't know if this event will happen. Does anyone know any new information about this? I've tried to search more information about it without any luck.


http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sa...y1.html?page=1
Tour de California race lining up for '06 start
Mark Anderson

The group planning a professional California bicycle race as good as the Tour de France expects to announce next month that a major California corporation has signed on as a name sponsor for the debut race in the spring of 2006.

The organizers of the Tour de California have kept pretty quiet the past year, but that promises to change in February as details of the race are unveiled.

Planned as an annual event, the Tour de California would include nine stages over two weeks, with world-class cyclists racing through California's prettiest landscapes. One demanding stage would start at the Capitol in Sacramento and go more than 100 miles up the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe.

"We want to show off California, and this is a great way to do it," said Richard Riordan, California's secretary of education and one of the initial organizers. As former mayor of Los Angeles, he approved races and marathons through the city that drew large crowds and publicity.

Riordan said California has the perfect climate and a huge following of homegrown cycling enthusiasts.

A professional race typically has 100 to 200 riders in the peloton, or group of riders. They move fast, requiring only brief road closures.

Few details for the tour, including the logistics of the nine stages, have been completed so far. When the Business Journal first wrote about the tour last June, some organizers thought the race might start this year.

But starting by this March, the prefer-red month, became impossible. The race is set for late February or early March 2006.

(Read the full article: http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sa...y1.html?page=1)
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Old July 30th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #2
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I think it's definitely happening.

It's an interesting idea and has been proposed for years. The only problem is the February scheduling. Most of the international cycling one-day "classics" happen between March and June, which most premier cyclists compete in. Before the Spring classics season begins, most of the premier cyclists and cycling teams engage in their off-season training. As most athletes train to "peak" during specific times of the year so as to reduce the stress on their bodies (like Lance Armstrong trains for the Tour de France, and others tour for the Giro D'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana) I fear that the Tour de California may come a little too early in the season and be too long for this part of the season to draw the A-list cyclists. Most likely if this tour becomes part of organized cycling's schedule, teams like T-Mobile, CSC, Liberty Seguros and Discovery Channel will send contingents made of their second-stringers. The early part of the year is better suited to one-day races and not long stage-races like the planned Tour de California.

I also think that weatherwise, it may be too early. February is smack-dab in the middle of the winter rainy season up north. Also, imagine cycling the mountain stages in the Sierras in February when we get snow all the way until May in some places?

It's a good idea though--- maybe for September or October. I also think that they shouldn't call it Tour de California. Dumb name. They should call it Vuelta a California (if they want to make it Spanish sounding) or just Tour of California.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 06:47 AM   #3
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I agree, February isn't the best month to hold an event like this in California, weather wont be pleasant for the riders and the spectators. Some time during would be much better. One thing I can't wait to see right now is a map showing where the race is going through.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 08:03 AM   #4
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indeed

It better go thru San Diego.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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^I heard the finish line is in LA.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 07:50 PM   #6
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It's now called Tour of California.

http://www.velonews.com/race/dom/articles/7746.0.html
Coming in 2006: Tour of California
By Jason Sumner
Special to VeloNews
This report filed March 26, 2005


Normally if a group of event organizers announced a multi-day bike race that was slated to commence in less than year, but had no title sponsor, a route or even exact dates, you'd chalk it up as the standard baseless hyperbole that has so often characterized proposed cycling events in the U.S.

But when AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke backed up the announcement of what will be the inaugural Tour of California with the boldest of statements, you have to believe this event is actually going to get off the ground as planned come February 2006.

"The decision we had to make at AEG, and with our other partners, was: Are we prepared to go this alone if we don't sell any sponsorship? Are we willing to finance this thing completely for five years, which would be about a $35 million commitment?" Leiweke said during a news conference held at the ritzy Stadium Club, which overlooks the soccer field at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. "The answer is yes. If we have to spend $35 million to build the race we will."

But no matter who ends up footing the bill, this eight-day, UCI-sanctioned men's road stage race is primed to be the biggest event that's descended on U.S. cycling in years.

"We are looking at the great cycling events around the world and aspiring to become one of those great events," continued Leiweke. "We are looking at the Tour de France as our model, and looking at the Tour de France as what we want to be one day when we grow up.

"It took us a while to get here because this is not an inexpensive endeavor. But our company has committed the funding to give this race the right chance. It's not going to be a one- or two-year and out deal. This is a long-term commitment. We are making a commitment to this sport and a long-term commitment to the Tour of California. We know success won't come right away. We know it's going to take some time to reach the level that we want to accomplish."

Leiweke and AEG certainly appear to have the right people behind them. Speakers at the Friday afternoon press conference included UCI president Hein Verbruggen, USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia and California Secretary of Education Richard Riordan.

Riordan, a cyclist himself, called the race an opportunity to show the world that California "is the greatest place in the world. The Tour of California will show people that California is not just a place, it's a way of life."

Verbruggen was equally effusive, gushing that "if ever there was a situation where all the necessary components were in place for a great race, it is here."

As for the nuts and bolts of the race, managing director Robert Colarossi said that final decisions on dates and the race route would come "sometime this summer." But assuming a mid-February start, the event would fit nicely into the existing early-season slate, allowing ProTour teams to go from Australia's Tour Down Under to the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, and then fly across the Pacific for the race in California, before returning to Europe for the start of the main racing season.

"AEG and our partners are all dedicated to making this one of the two or three best cycling events in all of the world," said Leiweke. "The best athletes will come here. We will have the most prize money in the history of cycling in the U.S. We are going to do this the right way. We are going to take our time and build something great. And strive to be a great event like the Tour de France."
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Old July 31st, 2005, 11:04 PM   #7
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Whatever the route is, it's not going to be a set route every year. Just like the Tour de France that changes routes (to challenge the cyclists and to promote different parts of France), I expect many cities throughout the state to vie to be stages of the Tour. Not only does a long stage race like the Tour of California promote California as the premier cycling destination of the USA (people in Colorado may take offense at this, but California is heaven for bikers), but it is also a tourist revenue engine to promote all parts of the state to non-cyclists. Imagine pictures of cyclists coming down Highway 1 through the Big Sur coast, or mountain stages in the western Sierras, or a ride through the redwoods of the north, or the shores of San Diego? It would be beautiful to see a pack of riders crossing the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin into the City. And I would love to see a team time trial through the hills of San Francisco (like the annual T-Mobile Invitational in the fall).

So it's in the best interests of the whole state as well as the tour organizers to shift the route around. If the tour ever came through Santa Cruz, I'd be on the roads cheering the riders on.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #8
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here in redlands we have the redlands bycicle classic, i dont know if anybody has ever heard of it but it does bring in some bikers in from round the u.s. and its held every march for the past 20 years or so. i hope they include a drive by this city because people here are into this kind of sport. Even if it does not go through our area of so. cal its great news for California.

just in case:
www.redlandsclassic.com
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Old August 6th, 2005, 07:10 AM   #9
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sounds great, but it'd be better in april or may, it rains february
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Old August 18th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #10
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I found a logo!!! And a teaser website!!!

http://www.tourofcalifornia.com/
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 01:35 AM   #11
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They updated the website.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 01:36 AM   #12
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Ambitious dreams for big California cycling race
- Dan Giesin, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Vowing to someday rival the Tour de France, the organizers of the Tour of California professional cycling race laid out their plans Wednesday in San Francisco for next year's inaugural event.

Starting with a short time-trial prologue in San Francisco on Feb. 19, the race will travel 750 miles up, then down the coast over the next week to finish on Feb. 26 in the Los Angeles suburb of Redondo Beach. In between, the 128 cyclists representing 16 teams will begin or end each stage in such cities as Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks.

"The event will celebrate not only the athleticism and grace of cycling, but also the beauty of ... California," said Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) which is organizing the event. "The Tour of California will soon take its place among the sport's best, most respected races.

"And we're putting up $35 million to do it, to rival the Tour de France."

That's some mighty big talk for a first-year event, but the Tour of California has nonetheless attracted some big-time interest: Amgen, a Southern California biotechnology company, is the title sponsor; ESPN2 is a broadcast partner and will present an hour-long highlights show each race-day evening, and such high-profile European- centric trade teams as Discovery Channel, Gerolsteiner, Davitamon-Lotto, Phonak, Saunier Duval Prodira and T-Mobile will be represented in the peloton.

"This is a huge landmark day for U.S. cycling; I felt like we've hit the lottery," said Sean Petty, chief of staff at USA Cycling, the sport's governing body in the United States. "The magnitude of an event like this ... is huge. ... With the quality of the teams coming here the Tour of California will be a showcase event for the sport of cycling. ... This will provide a platform for this sport like never before."


URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...NGL2FHSQB6.DTL
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 04:58 AM   #13
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Yay! I'll be standing by the side of the road to cheer on the cyclers when this happens!

BTW, from their official website, here's their official route:

http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/route.html

Click on MAP to see where they're going.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:23 AM   #14
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I can't wait. I'll be in SF on Feb. 19th to watch. Looks like the race will be on Route 1 most of the time. It's really disappointing they're not going to the Seirras, maybe next time.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #15
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Why did the change the name tho? Tour de California sounded a bit better IMO
It will be awesome regardless of the name; I'm sure of that.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #16
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‘Tour de France’ watch your back
By Will McCulloch
Staff Writer

Lance Armstrong may have retired from professional cycling, but the sport’s standing in America received a boost Wednesday when sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG unveiled plans for a 700-mile, eight-stage professional cycling race that will begin this February in San Francisco.

The Amgen Tour of California will emulate the revered Tour de France, but a long-term vision from race organizers hopes to challenge the European event and stake claim to an enduring world-class race in a state that boasts a rabid cycling base.

“In the next five years, we’re going to build the second-best cycling event in the world and we’re going to rival the Tour de France and we’re going to put up $35 million to do it,” said Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, whose properties include the San Jose Earthquakes and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. AEG’s owner, Phil Anschutz, also owns the company that publishes The Examiner.

San Francisco will host the race’s prologue on Feb. 19. The scene will be different than the one at the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix in September, where riders jostle for position amid hundreds of other competitors. The prologue will be a 2½-mile sprint in which each of the 128 world-class riders start at one-minute intervals.

Although organizers speculated the Embarcadero would be the start and a suitable San Francisco landmark would mark the prologue’s finish, the specific streets included on the course will be released in the coming months.

After a day in San Francisco, the first stage begins when the cyclists pedal from Sausalito to Santa Rosa. The third stage will include a ride from Martinez to San Jose. The race will conclude Feb. 26, in Redondo Beach in Southern California.

The race already boasts a field that features 16 of the world’s most accomplished racing teams, including the Discovery Channel team. The February date filled a void in the international cycling schedule. Organizers also noted that many professional cycling teams train in California in January and February.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom joined other California mayors in expressing his excitement over the invaluable television exposure California will gain through a daily one-hour show each night on ESPN. Newsom also cited San Francisco’s goal to continue to attract high-profile events.

“We’re becoming increasingly competitive, recognizing that we’re not just competing as a city against other states and other countries,” Newsom said. “We’re competing against cities in the region. That’s why we’re trying to get more aggressive doing these crazy and audacious events like ski jumps.”

E-mail: [email protected]
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #17
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Here's the map for the lazy people who don't want to spend their time in the website.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hngcm
indeed

It better go thru San Diego.
It might go to SD in 2007
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Old November 4th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boybaha
Yay! I'll be standing by the side of the road to cheer on the cyclers when this happens!
Knowing you as an ardent and accomplished cyclist, boybaha, I'd thought that we might be able to cheer you!
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Old November 4th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #20
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is it me or is this a horrible route? i think it is horrible to leave out 2/3 of the state in this races "representation and showcase" of california. there is a lot more to california than our awesome coast line. how bout starting in san fran. heading north and then east to sac. through wine country to davis. then mountains to tahoe for mountain stages, the sequoias. then have a sprint races through the north portion of the valley to show off our great farm land while heading west back to san jose. and down the coast as they invision it. a mountain stage over the grape vine. a stage from the inland empire to palm springs showing off the windmills the san gabriel mountains and back west to long beach. and finally the last stage, long beach to san diego. that would be freaking awesome. oh well, maybe it will expand

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