The 2009 Amgen Tour of California will once again bring together a world-class field of cycling teams from multiple nations, including eight of the sportÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top-rated ProTour teams.Ã‚Â Race organizers confirmed today that entries for the fourth annual race will include Lance Armstrong and the Amgen Tour of CaliforniaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s two-time defending champion Levi LeipheimerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team, Astana, along with two of the top U.S.-based teams, Garmin-Slipstream (new to the ProTour circuit) and Columbia Highroad (formerly Team High Road).Ã‚Â Also racing will be Team Saxo Bank, which finished in the top-three of the world rankings last season and Quick Step, which claimed 55 victories in the 2008 season.
The 2009 Amgen Tour of California roster includes the following eight ProTour professional cycling teams:
- Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)
- Astana (LUX)
- Garmin-Slipstream (USA)
- Liquigas (ITA)
- Quick Step (BEL)
- Rabobank (Netherlands)
- Columbia Highroad (USA)
- Team Saxo Bank (DEN)
The recently expanded 750-mile, nine-day stage race, considered to be the most important and popular race held on U.S. soil, will take the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top professional cycling teams from Sacramento to San Diego County from February 14-22, 2009.
“The success of the Amgen Tour of California has created a very positive reputation among the professional cycling community, which has helped to ensure the high level of competition that people have come to expect from our race,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have invited the best teams that the world has to offer to compete on an outstanding course.Ã‚Â The success of the race, combined with an updated, world-class route will ensure a level of competition that is unprecedented in the United States.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Split between teams who compete on the UCI ProTour and those who race predominately in the United States, the field of athletes competing in the 2009 Amgen tour of California will be one of the most diverse, accomplished groups of cyclists ever assembled for a stage race in the U.S.Ã‚Â The full list of teams will be announced in January, with final rosters due in February.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have a great roster of top athletes, and the Amgen Tour of California delivers a great stage on which to perform,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bob Stapleton, owner, Columbia Highroad.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Amgen Tour of California is great for the sport of cycling in the U.S. and great for the sport overall.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Several of the ProTour professional cycling teams will hold their pre-season training camps in California, which will give residents throughout the state an opportunity to watch these elite athletes prepare for the top professional cycling race in the United States.
For more information about the teams competing in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, please visitÃ‚Â www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The largest cycling event in America, the Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course.Ã‚Â Building on last year’s third-annual stage race, which attracted 1.6 million spectators, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 750 miles over nine days from February 14-22, 2009.Ã‚Â
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics.Ã‚Â A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient.Ã‚Â Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses.Ã‚Â With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives.Ã‚Â To learn more about Amgen’s pioneering science and vital medicines, visitÃ‚Â www.amgen.com.Ã‚Â To learn more about AmgenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Breakaway from Cancer initiative, visitÃ‚Â www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world.Ã‚Â AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, a WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Professional Soccer league team, the Los Angeles Sol, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG Live, the organizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production.Ã‚Â For more information, visit AEG today atÃ‚Â www.aegworldwide.com.