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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Cheryl Popp
Sausalito Local Organizing Committee
(415) 331-4331
cheryl@poppinc.com

SAUSALITO GEARS UP FOR 2009 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
WITH OCT. 26 KICKOFF EVENT BENEFITING ‘BIKES FOR KIDS’

SAUSALITO, CA., October 9, 2008 – For the fourth consecutive year, the City of Sausalito was once again selected to host a stage of the internationally acclaimed Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) now a 9-day professional cycling race that rivals the legendary Tour de France.

To officially launch plans for the biggest bike race in the Bay Area, city officials, the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, race organizers and cycling enthusiasts are hosting a kickoff reception – The 4th Annual Bike Blast -- on Sunday, October 26, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Spinnaker Restaurant in Sausalito

Race representatives at the Bike Blast will provide an overview of the entire nine-day race, including the epic Stage Three ride that starts in Sausalito at 8:30 AM on Monday, February 16, the President’s Weekend holiday. The racers will head south across the Golden Gate Bridge to Santa Cruz; the first bike race to ever cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Organizers will also outline volunteer and sponsorship opportunities and provide details on how a select number of amateur cyclists will be able to vie for slots to ride across the bridge on the heels of Lance Armstrong and the professional peloton..

The public is invited to the Bike Blast Kickoff, with proceeds from the $10 admission donation benefiting the “Sausalito Bikes for Kids” program.  The donation entitles each guest to one complimentary glass of wine or beer.  In addition to beverages, seasonal, healthy snacks will be served.

The “Sausalito Bikes for Kids” program, one of several nonprofits supported by the Amgen Tour of California, was established three years ago to provide age-appropriate bicycles for Sausalito/Marin City elementary school children who “earned” new bikes and helmets by completing an educational curriculum that focused on bike safety, health and fitness. The first year, 135 children earned brand new bicycles.  In year two, the proceeds from the program went to create the first-ever Bike Club at an elementary school in Northern California.  Sausalito school children who completed the educational curriculum in 2008 became charter members of the Bike Club, which provides loaner bicycles, bike trips and bike storage at the schools.

The Sausalito Chamber of Commerce and the City of Sausalito are once again partnering to produce the local race and are working closely with The Golden Gate Bridge District, California Highway Patrol and Caltrans to ensure that the historic bridge crossing is a dramatic moment in cycling history.

To RSVP for the October 26 Bike Blast, call Sausalito Parks & Recreation at 415.289.4152.

To obtain more information about events related to the Stage Three Start in Sausalito, please visit www.tourofcalifornia-Sausalito.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.

ABOUT AEG
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

 
ABOUT AMGEN

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.



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