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SB County to Host Inaugural Amgen Tour of California Cycling Race

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2006

By: Laura Kath (Expired article)

Los Alamos, CA -

On February 24 & 25, 2006, Santa Barbara County is proud to be one of only 10 areas in the state to host the inaugural 600-mile, 8-day Amgen Tour of California professional bicycle stage race—modeled after the Tour de France and featuring 128 Olympic-class and pro-cyclists on 16 teams from around the world. The 8-stage race begins in San Francisco on February 19 and ends in Redondo Beach on February 26, 2006.

On Friday, February 24th, Stage 5 begins at 10:00 AM in downtown San Luis Obispo and will enter Santa Barbara County in the city of Guadalupe at approximately 10:50 AM where a “sprint race within the race” will occur. Then, cyclists will head east through wine country (as seen in the movie Sideways) to the Santa Ynez Valley/Mountains via the Solvang area (host to training camps for several Tour teams). The riders will then face the four-mile Category One climb to San Marcos Pass (Highway 154) before descending to the finish line at the Pacific Ocean on West Beach (Cabrillo Boulevard between Chapala and Bath Streets) in Santa Barbara around 2:00 PM. The Stage 5 Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 3:00 PM at West Beach. The public is invited to cheer the cyclists along the route (specific route and view spot info sheet attached) and encouraged to join the excitement at the Finish Line/Starting Line and Lifestyle Festival.

The Amgen Tour of California Lifestyle Festival at the Finish Line along Cabrillo Boulevard at West Beach is free and open to the public from 10:30 AM-2:30 PM and features: free health and fitness tests; free info on Amgen and The Wellness Community's Breakaway from Cancer initiative–a new outreach campaign to raise awareness and funds for cancer patients and caregivers; free items from Amgen Tour of California sponsors and participating companies; opportunities to purchase race merchandise and programs; free fun activities inside the Kid's Zone; view a Demo Area with BMX stunt riders; explore a bicycle safety booth, gather local area information from the Visitors Bureau, Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, Santa Barbara Car Free Project; plus stay connected to the day's race with live-action viewing on the Finish Line Big Screen TV.

On Saturday, February 25th, Stage 6 of the race will begin at 10:00 AM ocean side on Cabrillo Boulevard at Santa Barbara’s West Beach (public is invited to attend); then travel through Montecito into the verdant Carpinteria Valley, and crosses into Ventura County. It features four KOM (King of Mountain) climbs in the 80 miles that precede three laps of a three-mile circuit in Thousand Oaks; ending at the corporate campus of title sponsor Amgen in Thousand Oaks.

See attached ROUTE & VIEW SPOT INFO SHEET for specific Santa Barbara County schedules, times and best spectator “View Spots”. For more information, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

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