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Tour of California starts in 50 minutes (on TV)

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This is all you need to know:

5pm EST, Versus, available in HD (where available).

If you want (care) to read about how this event is being broadcast internationally, here’s the press release:

AEG announced today that for the first time the 2009 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race will be broadcast internationally. The race will be broadcast live in more than 90 countries, which includes more than 200 million households across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and Africa. The unprecedented coverage is due to the partnership established with the Amaury Sport Organisation (owners of the Tour de France) which has assisted AEG with the international television distribution of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, further strengthening the partnership between the two cycling tour owners, which was announced in June 2008.

Amongst the line-up of broadcasters, Eurosport, the leader in cycling broadcast coverage in Europe, will broadcast the race live in 77 countries throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific. Abu Dhabi Sports in the Middle East, HiSports in Nigeria, J-Sports in Japan, SBS in Australia and Sky TV in New Zealand are also amongst the race’s international broadcast partners. In addition to the live coverage, highlights will be made available to fans in a total of 201 countries and territories, in 22 languages by a total of 23 channels.

Additionally, the race will be broadcast to international military bases.

“The American Forces Network will be broadcasting each stage of the Amgen Tour of California to international military bases around the world, which will enable military men and women to follow the race with fans worldwide,” said Scott Hanley, vice president, AEG Sports.

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 17 of the world’s top professional cycling teams from Sacramento to San Diego County. The race will include two-time defending race champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, among other top cyclists. Scheduled from February 14-22, 2009, the fourth-annual race will visit 16 host cities for official stage starts and finishes along the route.

“The fourth edition of the Amgen Tour of California will have the greatest collection of riders ever assembled on American soil,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “With this field, the competition is going to be tough, so we wanted to be sure to provide the race action to as many people as possible, and now the race will reach more fans across the globe than ever before.”

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15 years ago

Check out this video of the UCU Headquarters getting tagged…

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