BACK TO PRESS PAGE
LANCE ARMSTRONG TO RACE IN 2009 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES (September 25, 2008) – Lance Armstrong today announced his plan to race in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California with the Astana Cycling Team in a press conference in
Las Vegas. Armstrong’s highly anticipated return to competitive professional cycling for the 2009 season, after a three-year hiatus, will begin in January and the Amgen Tour of California will be his first U.S. race of the season.
"I will be competing in the Amgen Tour of California," confirmed Lance Armstrong. "The level of competition, the challenge of the course and the highly professional atmosphere make it the ideal situation for me to continue my training. I also have chosen the Amgen Tour of California because of the race's record of supporting cancer awareness and research through their Amgen Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative, and their commitment to partner with our Lance Armstrong Foundation. I look forward to racing once again in the United States in what we consider the best race outside of Europe."
Already considered cycling’s most important and successful road race in the United States, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 800 miles over nine days. The event’s fourth running is scheduled for February 14-22, 2009, and will showcase some of the world’s top professional cycling teams. Traveling almost the entire length of California on a demanding course, the race will begin in the state’s capital, Sacramento, and end in San Diego County for the first time.
“We are delighted to have Lance Armstrong participating in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. He will be one of the many world-class cyclists who will be participating in America’s greatest cycling stage race,” said Andrew Messick, president, AEG Sports, owner and operator of the Amgen Tour of California. “We applaud the commitment that Armstrong has made to return to cycling for the purpose of raising awareness for cancer. All of us at AEG, the Amgen Tour of California and Amgen share his commitment to supporting those who are engaged in this important fight through the Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative.”
Building on last year's third annual stage race, which attracted 1.6 million spectators, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will visit 16 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, with communities along the route getting the chance to see firsthand a lineup of some of the best and most recognizable teams in the world. Host cities for the nine stages 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).
As the title sponsor of the race for the fourth consecutive year, Amgen, a leading global biotechnology company with headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif., will continue to leverage the race to raise awareness and support for people affected by cancer through the Breakaway from CancerTM initiative. Amgen's invaluable support of the Amgen Tour of California has helped to ensure the race’s continued success and impact beyond the sporting arena.
“Lance Armstrong’s feats in professional cycling and his leadership in the fight against cancer have served to benefit the sport of cycling and more importantly cancer patients everywhere,” said George Morrow, Amgen’s executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations. “We welcome Lance to the Amgen Tour of California and look forward to collaborating with him and the Lance Armstrong Foundation through Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative, which we launched in the inaugural year of the Amgen Tour of California to raise awareness of non-profit organizations that benefit people affected by cancer.”
For additional information on the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
ABOUT THE ATOC
Since its 2006 inaugural, the Amgen Tour of California has become one of the pre-eminent professional cycling events in the world with over 100 international cyclists traversing over 700 miles of scenic state highways, back roads and coastline from northern to southern California. An extra day and more varied terrain have been added to the route for 2009 which now starts in Sacramento.
Riding for Team Astana, legendary cyclist and 7-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong will be in the peloton, as will ATOC defending champion Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa. It will be Armstrong’s first race on U.S. soil since coming out of retirement.
The 2008 event drew 1.8 million spectators – the record for a single sporting event in the State of California, as well as for any cycling event ever held in the U.S. Tour officials estimated that the 2008 race generated $100 million in economic growth for the state. Local merchants in Sausalito also benefited from the influx of visitors over the race weekend.
With stunning bay vistas and waterfront views, and now the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito will once again provide a dramatic backdrop for the Amgen Tour of California. The city is again planning a week of race-related activities for locals and visitors alike including the popular Tour de Cuisine.
The Amgen Tour of California is produced by The Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG) -- one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world with a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Park, Toyota Sports Center, Anaheim Convention Center Arena, El Rey Theatre, Colosseum at Caesars Palace, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), four Major League Soccer franchises, 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 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. 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, Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri as well as Red Bull Park, a soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey and L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion sports and entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.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 Amgen's pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
BACK TO PRESS PAGE