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AEG Announces Route Details of 2006 Amgen Tour of California

Tour of California Race Map
Tour of California Route Map
source: http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com

World Class Cycling Field to Compete Across 600-Miles of California Roadway In Eight Day Stage Race

LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2006 - AEG, one of the world's leading sports and entertainment presenters, today announced route details of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California (UCI 2.1) which will make its way from San Francisco to Redondo Beach, CA along a demanding 600-mile course. Also announced today, 16 international and domestic teams will traverse the state from north to south in this eight-day professional cycling stage race modeled after the Tour de France. The Amgen Tour of California is scheduled to take place from February 19-26, 2006.


Televised Nightly
(each night during the event)

1:00 AM - 2:00 AM (EST)

10:00 PM - 11:00 PM (PST)

Sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste International) and USA Cycling, the Amgen Tour of California is one of the most anticipated events on the international cycling calendar. Between the opening Prologue in San Francisco and the finale in Redondo Beach, the race will visit ten host cities for official stage starts and finishes while the many communities along the route will have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite bicycle racing. Host cities for the eight daily stages include: San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, Monterey, San Louis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach.

"We designed the inaugural course with both racers and spectators in mind," said Bob Colarossi, managing director of AEG Cycling, LLC. "It offers the world's best cyclists some of the most challenging terrain that California has to offer. We've designed a beautiful course and we look forward to bringing a beautiful sporting event to the doorsteps of California communities."

"Amgen is pleased to sponsor this world class cycling event which will showcase the state of California and its beautiful scenery," said Jim Daly, senior vice president, Amgen North America Commercial Operations.

Prologue: Sunday, Feb. 19: San Francisco 1.9 mi (time trial)
Start time: 10:00 AM → Finish ETA: 12:22 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

At 10 a.m., riders will open the competition with a short, intense Prologue through the streets of San Francisco. Starting by the Ferry Building at Pier 1, the 1.9-mile course will run along the Embarcardero until making the sharp left onto Bay Street that will bring the riders up the tight and steep climb through Telegraph Hill to the finish at Coit Tower.

The Tour of California Grassy Knoll Project
updated Friday Feburary 3rd, 2006

Here's a community project involving race spectators and their digital still or video cameras. Upload your Tour of California race (and preride!) photos, video, audio and text to our chronological Grassy Knoll storyboard of each stage so that everyone can enjoy the collective photo gallery/slide show. For each night of the event, we'll put together stage video recaps using a compilation of the best photos and clips. Anyone can download the content and produce their own video recap as well. To participate, simply upload to this site (steephill.tv) or complete the online form with a link to externally posted pictures and/or video with public permission rights. We are also planning to automatically pull in public Flickr photos tagged “tourofcalifornia”. Give your photos and movies descriptive and/or humorous titles and even audio and then mark the photo shooting location(s) on the provided google map.

Anyone who contributes will be included in the video credits and receive a link to their full photo collection on our daily event web page. The finished videos will be posted here and later submitted for airing on television and bike film festivals.

To keep informed of this project simply subscribe using your preferred RSS reader. Spread the word and stay tuned for further details and the launch...

-- Steve Hill

In addition to great action shots here are some other possibilities:

»  If you have a digital camera that can shoot 30 frames per second (fps) then consider taking video. It's easier for amateurs to take action video and then action photography. Keep your clips short... no more than 20 seconds. For better results, please shorten large clips before uploading.

»  I know the media access around the start and finishing areas will be limited, but try to score some pictures and video of riders warming up or giving post-race interviews.

»  Take pre-ride video of you and your friends climbing a steep section and then later contrast that with your video of pros tackling the same climb. Upload the clips with the same storyboard time and they will appear side-by-side in the clip gallery.

»  Position yourself at the top of a KOM climb or an intermediate sprint location to capture the KOM and Sprint point leaders. (see the locations of mid-race KOM and sprint competitons elsewhere on this page)

»  While waiting for racers to pass by, don't forget to take some scenic pictures on race day! You can also insert scenic pre-ride photos at the appropriate point in the storyboard timeline. Some interesting landmarks would add to the story.

»  Cheering crowd shots are definitely welcomed.

»  The upload process will be very simple, timestamps will be automatically extracted from race pictures so that only video, audio and non-event day pictures will require a time entered manually. Captions are optionial for all photos and clips but if your “picture says a 1000 words” then you should supply a caption. Who has time to read a 1000 words? Everyone enjoys a good caption so isolate the most important aspect of your photo and then jot down something creative.

»  Your race photos are timely and you'll have people around the country waiting for them so scamper home after the event. You can labor over the captions and edit them any time after they've been uploaded.

»  You can add audio commentary to your photos or anyone else's.

»  In short, this project is about documenting each day of the race by amateurs and professionals. If you have something that contributes to the timeline gallery then don't be shy... upload it!

See our 2005 San Francisco Grand Prix report for examples and possible ideas

Tips for taking good action photography

Stage One: Monday, Feb. 20: Sausalito → Santa Rosa 80.2 mi
Start Time: 11:00 AM → Sprints: Point Reyes Station and Occidental → Finish ETA: 2:01-2:32 pm
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

With the start on the Marin side of the San Francisco Bay, Stage One will cover roughly 84 miles from Sausalito to Santa Rosa. On its way up Highway 1, the course will run through the Marin Headlands, flanked on both sides by national parkland, before leaving the Point Reyes National Seashore for the race's first sprint competition line in Point Reyes. After crossing into Sonoma, spectators can watch the race for the stage win unfold as the field completes three laps of a technical finishing circuit in downtown Santa Rosa.

Stage Two: Tuesday, Feb. 21: Martinez → San Josť 94.9 mi
Start Time: 11:00 AM → Sprints: Lafayette and Castro Valley → Finish ETA: 2:33-3:09 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

The race will next turn south toward two decisive days in San Jose. After neutral parade laps in the start city of Martinez, the stage is a hilly ride through the East Bay that will bring the race over its first significant climb. Coming 22 miles before the finish line in downtown San Jose, the Sierra Road climb east of the city center will be the first Category One (highest ranked in order of difficulty) ascent in the King of the Mountains competition.

Stage Three: Wednesday, Feb. 22: San Josť 17 mi (time trial)
Start Time: 11:00 → Finish ETA: 2:00 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

A 17-mile Individual Time Trial on the outskirts of San Jose will test the cyclists on an undulating course along the Chesbro and Calero Reservoirs.

Stage Four: Thursday, Feb. 23: Monterey → San Luis Obispo 130.9 mi
Start Time: 10:00 AM → Sprints: Big Sur and Cambria → Finish ETA: 3:22-4:19 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

The "Queen Stage" of this year's race begins in Monterey and follows scenic Highway 1 where the mountains run into the Pacific Ocean. At 130 miles, this is the longest stage of the 2006 race and will test the riders on consistently hilly and technical terrain. The six-hour day will see the athletes go through the community of Big Sur and by Hearst Castle before shifting inland toward the finish in San Luis Obispo.

Stage Five: Friday, Feb. 24: San Luis Obispo → Santa Barbara 105.3 mi
Start Time: 10:00 AM → Sprints: Arroyo Grande Santa Maria → Finish ETA: 2:02-2:42 pm
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

Starting in Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo, Stage Five to Santa Barbara will follow the central coast until the sprint city of Guadalupe, where the field will leave the flatlands and head east to the Santa Ynez Mountains via the Solvang area. The riders will then face the four-mile Category One climb to San Marcos Pass before descending to a beachfront finish in Santa Barbara.

Stage Six: Saturday, Feb. 25: Santa Barbara → Thousand Oaks 89.5 mi
Start Time: 10:00 AM → 3 KOMs → Sprints: Ojai Santa Paula → Finish ETA: 1:18-1:52 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

This shorter stage with a hilly profile from Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks features four KOM climbs in the 80 miles that precede three laps of a three-mile circuit in Thousand Oaks that will cover the stage's final ten miles before finishing at title sponsor Amgen's corporate campus.

Stage Seven: Saturday, Feb. 26: Redondo Beach 76.5 mi (circuit race, 10 laps)
Start Time: 1:00 PM → Sprints: laps 3, 5, 7 → Finish ETA: 3:43-4:11 PM
profile and google map | Y! pdf route map | Y! route timetable

The race will culminate with a circuit race in Redondo Beach. The stage will be active as the riders compete on ten laps of a 7.65 mile circuit along the Redondo Beach Esplanade and through an intermediate sprint line in Riviera Village before returning to the start/finish line on Harbor Street. Thousands of spectators will be able to watch the race develop as the cyclists vie for the honor of winning the final stage of the first Amgen Tour of California.

AEG Confirms Professional Cycling Teams for Inaugural Amgen Tour of California

Amgen Tour of California 2006 Team Roster:
Team CSC (CSC) - DEN 
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (DSC) - USA
  George Hincapie
  Tom Danielson
  Viatcheslav Ekimov
  Paolo Savoldelli
  Michael Barry
  Jason McCartney
  Vladimir Gusev
  Janez Brajkovic
Phonak Hearing Systems (PHO) - SUI 
Gerolsteiner (GST) - GER 
Davitamon-Lotto (DVL) - BEL 
Prodir-Saunier Duval (SDV) - ESP
Credit Agricole (C.A.) - FRA
T-Mobile Team (TMO) - GER
Health Net Presented by Maxxis (HNM) - USA
  Gord Fraser
  Greg Henderson
  Tim Johnson
  Mike Jones
  Scott Moninger
  Nathan O'Neill
  Hayden Roulston
  Mike Sayers
Navigators Insurance Cycling Team (NIC) - USA 
Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home Wines Professional Cycling Team
United Pro Cycling Team (UCI Continental) 
Team TIAA-CREF (UCI Continental) 
Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling (UCI Continental) 
Jelly Belly Cycling Team (UCI Continental) 
KB Home Mexican National Team

Race Presenter Announces Roster of 16 International and Domestic Cycling Teams for February, 2006 Event

LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2006 - AEG, one of the world's leading sports and entertainment presenters, today announced that it has confirmed 16 domestic and international cycling teams for its inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Team CSC, the world's number-one ranked cycling team, Tour de France Champion Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team and Health Net presented by Maxxis, winner of USA Cycling's 2005 National Race Calendar, will lead 16 of world's top cycling teams in the Tour de France style event scheduled for February 19-26, 2006.

"The level of competition coming to the inaugural Tour is unprecedented in the United States and rivals any race that was held worldwide last year," said Bob Colarossi, managing director of AEG Cycling, LLC. "We have invited the best teams that the world has to offer to compete on an outstanding course. We are particularly thrilled that so many Californians will have the opportunity to line the race course and experience first-hand the thrill of cycling at this level."

"The Amgen Tour of California is an event that attracts our style of racing -- we like to ride aggressively and show some spectacular cycling," said Bjarne Riis, manager of Team CSC. "The organizers have put together a really challenging route that suits the riders we will bring. Naturally, we have very high ambitions for this race we have always enjoyed racing in the States and we look forward to a great week in California in February."

Split evenly between teams who compete on the UCI Pro Tour and those who race predominately in the United States, the field of 128 athletes will be among the most internationally diverse and accomplished group of cyclists ever assembled for a professional stage race on American soil. The growing class of top domestic professionals will also be represented by America's premier developmental team, Team TIAA-CREF, the first-year United Pro Cycling Team, and Northern California based Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team.

"The commitment of eight UCI Pro Tour teams to the inaugural Amgen Tour of California is a tremendous testament to the caliber of the event and its future as a world class stage race in the United States," said Gerard Bisceglia, chief executive officer of USA Cycling. "Secondly it provides sports fans a rare opportunity to see so many top American cycling pros compete on their home soil against a strong international field."

Of the teams competing in the 2006 event, three (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, Team CSC and Health Net presented by Maxxis) will hold their pre-season training camps in Solvang, California. Many of the Santa Barbara county roads that these teams use in their training will be part of the official 2006 race route, including the Category One ascent of San Marcos Pass.

"With the team and our title sponsor both being based in California, we've been looking forward to the Tour of California ever since early talk of it began last year," said Jeff Corbett, directeur sportif of the Oakland-based Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis. "It's an opportunity to develop another top tier international stage race in the U.S." Corbett went on to add that "on the road to the NRC crown in 2005, we enjoyed a lot of success against top international teams, including the Pro Tour teams. We're looking forward to competing with them again during the Tour of California."

About Amgen
Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains 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 committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.

About AEG
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Sports Center, NOKIA Theater Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and London's Manchester Evening News Arena; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy, Metrostars and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), three hockey franchises operated in Europe, the Hammarby (Sweden) Futbol Club and management of shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) owned by Philip Anschutz; AEG Marketing, a sponsorship, sales, naming rights and consulting company; AEG Merchandising, a multi-faceted merchandising company; and AEG Creative, a full-service marketing and advertising agency. AEG LIVE, one of the world's leading promoters of live concerts and other special events is also owned by AEG which is headquartered in Los Angeles.