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Solvang is Bicycle Favorite

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008

By: Laura Kath (Expired article)

Solvang, CA -

On December 15, about 100 guests (including an estimated 40 supporters and spectators, 35 cyclists, 30 Solvang School sixth grade students from John Padfield’s class and local dignitaries County Supervisor Brooks Firestone, Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson, Council member Linda Jackson, Solvang City Manager Brad Vidro and Solvang Chamber of Commerce President Linda Johansen) attended the 3rd annual “Ride the Route” event held at Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall (moved from Solvang Park due to potential rainy conditions). All learned more specific details about the 2009 Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 6 Solvang Individual Time Trial to be held on February 20, 2009.

Supervisor Firestone noted that Santa Barbara County is proud once again to host the race for its fourth year—and since he is retiring as supervisor next month, he is looking forward to volunteering for the event. Vidro and Johansen both rode the route and found it exhilarating and were thrilled that the rain held off and sunny skies prevailed during the 15-mile ride throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.

Special guest speaker was professional cyclist Ken Hanson, recently signed with Team Type 1 (who will be holding their training camp in the Santa Ynez Valley next month.) Hanson is a native of San Luis Obispo and graduate of Cal Poly University who now resides in Santa Barbara. Hanson indicated he was thrilled to see Solvang back as the time trial stage again for 2009—as he rides this area frequently.

Carol Petersen and Max Hanberg, volunteer co-chairs of the Solvang Local Organizing Committee for the race discussed the 15-mile route—the same as 2008 with the starting line at Mission Drive & First Street and the Finish Line at Copenhagen Drive and First Street—only one block away with the free Lifestyle Festival in between. It is important to note that East-West and North-South Solvang city access routes will remain open throughout race day.

The 2009 Amgen Tour of California—a 750-mile, nine-day bicycle stage race modeled after the Tour de France—features the world’s top professional cycling teams starting in Sacramento on February 14 and concluding in Escondido (San Diego County) on February 24. For complete details on all aspects of the race, visit the and

Photography courtesy of: Jeremy Ball.

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