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Tour to announce cities on bicycle race route

  • 10/10/2010: B2:

    PC: Amgen Tour of California second stage winner Brett Lancaster crosses the finish line just ahea of Peter Sagan to claim the yellow jersey in Santa Rosa.

Organizers for the Amgen Tour of California, who have already named Santa Rosa as the start for next May's event, will release a list of the remaining cities for the race on Thursday.

The eight-day cycling event has grown in seven years to be the major race in the United States and draws top international racing teams.

The organizer, AEG Sports of Los Angeles, wants the route to show off California's landscape, from the Sierra to the vineyards to the Pacific Coast.

More than two dozen cities have applied to host either a stage start or finish. The specific route will be announced early next year.

Santa Rosa was left out for the first time last May, but with the promise that it would host the first stage with a start and finish in downtown.

"This is the best event we have, it is a party for the whole town," said Raissa de la Rosa, Santa Rosa's economic development specialist. "This is a great vehicle to showcase the breadth of what Sonoma County has to offer."

De la Rosa heads the local organizing committee that is raising $500,500 to cover the cost of putting on the event, which is expected to have a $6.6 million economic benefit for Sonoma County.

The committee so far has raised $250,000. The major donors are VeloStreet, the non-profit that owns Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo, $120,000, and the Santa Rosa Tourism Business Improvement Area, $100,000.

"The hard costs are the lodging, feeding of teams, labor, the things that make common city streets into a sports arena," de la Rosa said.

The eight-day race will start in Santa Rosa on May 13, a Sunday, and end on May 20.


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