Pro cycling champ Levi Leipheimer will be the featured speaker Tuesday at a luncheon sponsored by the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce.

Leipheimer, a Santa Rosa resident, has played a pivotal role in stoking the recent surge in bicycling popularity in Sonoma County.

The Healdsburg area offers a variety of scenic rides and merchants are interested in capitalizing on the business that cyclists bring.

Leipheimer is a friend of Mo McElroy, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

"We put on three programs a year called News at Noon with topical speakers," McElroy said Wednesday. "I chose cycling as the theme and want to shine light and awareness of the upcoming Tour of California, (Gran) Fondo and let the community hear Levi's thoughts about Healdsburg."

Leipheimer is a three-time winner of the Amgen Tour of California, an Olympic medalist, and made the podium at the Tour de France.

His annual GranFondo, a recreational ride that starts in Santa Rosa and wends its way through west Sonoma County, has drawn an increasing number of riders, with 7,500 participants three weeks ago.

Leipheimer will be participating in a question-and-answer session at the luncheon, which will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Villa Chanticleer, 1248 North Fitch Mountain Road.

The luncheon cost is $35 for chamber members and $45 for non-members.

Registration information is available at, or by calling 433-6935.