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VERSUS, the network that celebrates real competition and the home of professional cycling in the United States, announced it will air wall-to-wall coverage of the fourth annual Amgen Tour of California, Lance Armstrong’s second race of the 2009 cycling season. Now in its third year of televising the race, VERSUS will air all nine days of the event, including live coverage of the middle stages for the first time, beginning February 14 at 5 p.m. ET.

The recently expanded 750-mile, nine-day race from Sacramento to San Diego County will feature the world’s top professional cyclists and teams including: Lance Armstrong in his first Amgen Tour of California competition, two-time defending race champion Levi Leipheimer and top U.S.-based teams Garmin-Slipstream and Team Columbia-Highroad. VERSUS’ on-air broadcast team of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling, will call all the race action.

Read “more” for the full TV Schedule…

“The Amgen Tour of California has become one of cycling’s most prestigious events and we’re excited to offer cycling fans nine straight days of all the intense competition the race usually delivers,” said Jamie Davis, President of VERSUS. “With strong U.S.-based teams and Lance Armstrong competing in the race for the first time, it is undoubtedly a marquee year for the race and we’re extremely proud to be able to showcase each weekday stage live for the first time.”

VERSUS’ on-air schedule for the Amgen Tour of California follows:
Feb 7 Preview Show – 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT)
Feb 14 Prologue – Sacramento (live/same-day delay) – 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT)
Feb 15 Stage 1, Davis to Santa Rosa (live/same-day delay) – 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT)
Feb 16 Stage 2, Sausalito to Santa Cruz (live) – 12:30 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. PT)
Feb 17 Stage 3, San Jose to Modesto (live) – 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT)
Feb 18 Stage 4, Merced to Clovis (live) – 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT)
Feb 19 Stage 5, Visalia to Paso Robles (live) – 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT)
Feb 20 Stage 6, Solvang time trial (live) – 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT)
Feb 21 Stage 7, Santa Clarita to Pasadena (live/same-day delay) – 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT)
Feb 22 Stage 8, Rancho Bernardo to Escondido (live/same-day delay) – 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT)
* Times subject to change

“The 4th 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. “Besides Lance Armstrong, we are expecting a generation’s worth of great American riders in Levi Leipheimer, Christian van de Velde, Floyd Landis, current national champion Tyler Hamilton and four-time stage winner George Hincapie. International riders include current Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre, Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso, Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen, Thor Hushvold and the fastest man in the world, Mark Cavendish.”

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