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SCV gears up for Amgen Tour of California's arrival

Local teen chosen to sing National Anthem

Posted: February 17, 2009 5:14 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2009 2:15 p.m.
 

Paseo bridges are adorned, street pole banners are hung, bus shelters are framed and the foundation is set for the Amgen Tour of California's arrival to Santa Clarita on Saturday, February 21, 2009. There is still work to be done, but the community has rallied to prepare for this international event, which is free and open to the public and garners worldwide attention.

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 world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding, 750-mile course from Sacramento to Escondido from February 14-22, 2009.

Preparation for the Amgen Tour of California's arrival began in July 2008 when Santa Clarita was once again named as a host city for the race for the third consecutive year. Since then, thousands of local elementary through high school-aged youth participated in event-inspired contests to win sports equipment, a spirit bell and individual prizes like bicycles, vans shoes and helmets to individual winners.

Golden Valley High School took home the "Spirit Bell" title in 2007 and, last year, Hart High School won the prize for most spirited. The 2009 spirit contests are now up for grabs and the winner will be announced at the start on Saturday, February 21 at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

A talent competition was also part of this year's preparation. After careful review of countless submissions, a local teen has been selected to sing the National Anthem at the Stage 7 start. Anne DiGiorgio, a 15-year-old freshman honor student from West Ranch High School with an extensive performing arts background, is sure to put on a performance of a lifetime.

In the months of preparation, local agencies like the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, City of Santa Clarita, California Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Department and more collaborated to ensure that the event will run smoothly and safely. Businesses have come on board and the logistics have been finely tuned to prime Santa Clarita to host more than 130 of the world's top cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour of California.

Presenting Partner, along with the City of Santa Clarita, the Westfield Valencia Town Center will provide the picturesque backdrop for the Santa Clarita stage 7 start as activities commence along Town Center Drive on Saturday, February 21. The Westfield Valencia Town Center has been a huge supporter of the Amgen Tour of California for the last three years and has consistently supported community events.

Part of the preparation for bringing an event of this size and international magnitude of the Amgen Tour of California to life involves community support. More than 250 volunteers, many traveling from across the United States and as far as Puerto Rico, have signed up to assist in making this year's event a success.

The City of Santa Clarita urges community members to find out more about the Amgen Tour of California's Stage 7 start activities, Santa Clarita viewing parties and more. This and more on event sponsors like Pardee Homes and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, without which this event would not be possible, can be found at www.santa-clarita.com/tourofca.

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