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Amgen Tour of California Weekend Events Unveiled

Stage 6 and 7 of tour comes to Santa Clarita on Feb. 23-34

Posted: February 18, 2008 9:00 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
'The city of Santa Clarita will be at the center of the cycling world as it plays host to the Stage 6 finish and Stage 7 start of the Amgen Tour of California Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24.

The 650-mile, eight-day stage race, modeled after the Tour de France and considered to be the most important and popular race held on U.S. soil, will see the world's top professional cycling teams stay over in Santa Clarita amidst a flurry of activity and great events.

This year Santa Clarita will take on an "Olympic Village"-type feel with activities happening all weekend long along McBean Parkway and Westfield Valencia Town Center. The Saturday Stage 6 activities include a daytime festival, Kids Zone and Family Ride and a nighttime street party called "Rock the Bike" featuring a live performance by The Gin Blossoms.

Most activities are free and open to the public to experience. All of the events are geared to provide a world-class experience for everyone from the most ardent cycling fans to casual observers looking for a memorable experience close to home.

Community members can literally get into the action by participating in the Health Net Family Ride, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at City Hall and ends at the actual finish line for Amgen Tour of California. Families can choose to ride a three-mile beginner route, five-mile intermediate route or traverse the seven-mile advanced route. No matter which route riders choose to follow, the ride ends at the actual finish for the Amgen Tour of California. Signups are online at www.Santa-Clarita.com.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 23, the Kids Zone sponsored by Providence Holy Cross provides challenging and fun activities for children. The Kids Zone will feature an inflatable obstacle course, large slide, and participants can team up with friends to race around Santa Clarita's version of the Amgen Tour of California on tricycles. Proceeds benefit the Healthy Santa Clarita program.

The Health Net Lifestyle Festival, taking place from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. along McBean Parkway, will feature extreme bike demonstrations, a health and fitness expo, cycling gear, family activities and entertainment. The event is completely free.

Racers, en route from Santa Barbara, enter Santa Clarita between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and sprint along a three-lap circuit ending in the Stage 6 finish along McBean Parkway. Award presentations and ceremonies will immediately follow the conclusion of the stage near the finish line.

Finally on Saturday, when the racing stops the party starts at Rock the Bike featuring the Gin Blossoms. Rock the Bike - presented by the city of Santa Clarita, Westfield Valencia Town Center and H3 Publications - will feature top cycling manufacturers showcasing the latest cycling innovations. Combined with great live music including a concert by the world famous Gin Blossoms, Rock the Bike is an event you won't want to miss!

Sunday Feb. 24, the Stage 7 start provides a unique fan experience as Amgen Tour of California riders will be available for autographs and pictures at "Rider's Alley" prior to opening ceremonies, roughly between 11 a.m. and noon.

Opening ceremonies will include dignitaries, a color guard, the singing of the National Anthem and a vintage aircraft doing a single jet fly-by. Cheer on riders as they head out of Santa Clarita en route to the historic finish at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

A complete list of activities is available at www.Santa-Clarita.com. The city is proud to be a host for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, and I am confident that when all is said and done we will look back knowing we were part of something very special. I invite you to take part in all of the fantastic events over the course of the weekend and assure you that these memories are not ones you will soon forget.

Santa Clarita is not new to hosting great events. In March the city will once again host the AT&T Champions Classic golf tournament at the Valencia Country Club, and in April the city welcomes back guests from all over the world for the annual Cowboy Festival at historic Melody Ranch and Motion Picture Studio.

Santa Clarita has a rich history and today is one of the premier destinations for business, families and fun. As manager of the city of Santa Clarita I could not be more proud of our city and invite you to visit us again. Our doors are always open.

Ken Pulskamp is city manager of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own opinion, not necessarily that of The Signal.


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