Much Ado About Amgen Tour of California

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When the ultimate bicycle Amgen Tour of California (amgentourofcalifornia.com) rolls through town in 2012, some California cities from previous seasons will have dropped out due to price constraints, though they hope to return in future seasons. The same company that planned to launch a world tour with Michael Jackson before his untimely death in 2009, AEG, produces the ultimate bike race in California and has set the stakes high to make money on the venture.

13 Host Cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California include:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 13 Santa Rosa
Stage 2: Monday, May 14 San Francisco to Santa Cruz County
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 15 San Jose to Livermore
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 16 Sonora (new for 2012) to Clovis
Stage 5: Thursday, May 17 Bakersfield (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 6: Friday, May 18 Palmdale to Big Bear Lake
Stage 7: Saturday, May 19 Ontario (new for 2012) to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8: Sunday, May 20 Los Angeles/L.A. LIVE

  • At a recent meeting in Solvang where bicycle races have often provided revenue to the city through hotel overnight stays and taxes, city leaders said that AEG’s fees were not affordable and the city would have to “play hardball” next year in negotiating a deal to get the bike race back after hosting it several times previously.
  • In Orange County where the race has never been hosted, though it has skirted the border of the County as it arrived in Long Beach, a reporter from the Orange County Register lamented that Amgen Tour of California has never appeared in The OC.
  • Claimed to be the largest spectactor sporting event in California with an estimated 2 million people lining the bike route in cities throughout the state, the race is one of the top four bicycling races in the world.
  • Participants include Olympic medalists, World Champions and the top Tour de France competitors.
  • The Amgen Tour of California held its first race in 2006 and has a race each year since.
  • 13 host cities pay fees and are asked to provide amenities such as free hotel rooms and other products to AEG for rights to host the event. The benefits received come in additional hotel rooms booked to the public, meals consumed, publicity, etc.

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