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So it looks like the Tour of California will be televised live afterall. This is great news especially for those who can't wait for or get the ESPN2 coverage. I've highlighted the key points from the Friday announcement, but there is no mention of whether the service is free or not. The announcement comes rather late so I wonder how well they can pull it off and how good the video quality will be. Also, if you are attending the event, don't forget about uploading your photos, video and audio to the grassroots Tour of California Grassy Knoll Project afterwards so others can view the event from the fan prespective. -- Steve Hill

AEG and Adobe Team Up for Live Interactive Internet Coverage for Inaugural Amgen Tour of California

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17 -- AEG today announced that it is working closely with Adobe to integrate cutting-edge software technology into the official Web site of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California (UCI 2.1), an internationally sanctioned professional cycling road race to be held throughout California February 19-26, 2006. Owned and operated by AEG, the race joins the calendar as one of North America's most anticipated sports competitions for 2006, as 16 of the world's best cycling teams compete for eight days across 600 miles of scenic California roadway from San Francisco to Redondo Beach. With the incorporation of streaming video in Adobe's easily viewable Macromedia(R) Flash(R) video format, fans from around the world will now be able to follow up-to-the minute live action on the official race Web site. Providing the remote fan with a unique race viewing experience, the Amgen Tour of California race viewer is a pop-up application that will support both live and archived viewing of the race. Hosted by Akamai and using Adobe's Macromedia Flash Media Server, Internet users will be able to watch up to three channels of live video and archived clips to get levels of race access that are rivaled only by the riders' point of view. The viewer will also support live and archived text commentary, photo browsing, race profile, rider profiles, standings and a leader-board. "Along with setting a higher standard for bicycle racing in the United States, we have an opportunity to create a new benchmark for interactive race viewing by collaborating with Adobe to bring original content to the official race Web site," said Bob Colarossi, managing director of the Amgen Tour of California. "The unique experience provided by the live race viewer will give fans unrivaled access to the nuances of race strategy and the beauty of our California backdrop." In addition to providing live streaming content to the Web site, Adobe will be sponsoring the Adobe Most Aggressive Rider's Jersey. The jersey will be awarded on a daily basis to the rider who is judged by the media and the race commisaires to be the most aggressive and active rider on the day's stage. "Experience shows that the use of video, audio, interactivity and motion provide the most engaging online experience available today," said Jim Guerard, vice president of video and Web products at Adobe. "The outstanding Web site that AEG has produced, powered by Adobe technology, will help AEG build global awareness for this race and ensure that the event grows in popularity in the coming years." For more information about the Amgen Tour of California and have the live online experience, please visit http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.