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Amgen Tour pedals into spring

Milder weather is a factor in the change of dates for the popular event

Posted: May 6, 2009 9:20 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Amgen Tour of California for 2010 has been pushed from February into spring, the bicycle race's producer confirmed Wednesday.

 
The Amgen Tour of California for 2010 has been pushed from February into spring, the bicycle race's producer confirmed Wednesday.

"We are going to move the race," said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG, which puts on the 750-mile Tour de France-style race which has rolled through Santa Clarita three years in a row.

A smaller chance of inclement weather was a major selling point in staging the race later in the year, Roth said.

While the spring schedule will conflict with other bicycle races, Roth said the Amgen Tour will stand on its own reputation.

Roth did not confirm when in spring the race is being scheduled.

However, AEG Sports' president Andrew Messick was quoted Tuesday by an online cycling magazine as saying the tour is set for May 16 to 23, 2010.

"We're still dotting the ‘i's and crossing the ‘t's," Roth said.

The 2008 Tour of California received an upgraded rating from the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body of cycling, to a 2.Hors Classe, the highest rating a professional stage race outside Europe can receive.

The tour is also one of the races that help determine who will compete in the next Tour de France, during the first three weeks of July.

The Tour of California's stops in Santa Clarita have been a boon for the city, bringing about $2 million in economic benefit every year.

Cities apply for a spot on the race itinerary, and new cities are usually added each year.

"We would still love to have it," city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Wednesday afternoon.

If the race is held in May, it will fall in a busier slot on the community calendar, Ortiz said.

The city's popular Cowboy Festival is held at the end of April, and several community events take place throughout May.

"Certainly we could pull it off," Ortiz said. "We definitely do not want to lose this."

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