CLAREMONT, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- America's most popular cycling event, the Amgen Tour of California, has selected the City of Claremont as the starting point for its grueling mountain Stage 7, which will occur on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The eight-day stage race from May 15-22, 2011, is considered the most important cycling race held in the United States, and draws many of the world's top professional cycling teams from RadioShack to HTC Columbia.
While the official course through Claremont has yet to be finalized, the route is expected to pass the city's historic Claremont Train Depot and travel through the city's Village streets before heading into the San Gabriel Mountains for a difficult winding climb to Mount Baldy.
Long known as a close-knit community with its prestigious colleges and quaint Village and neighborhoods, Claremont's dedication to providing bicycle-friendly opportunities for residents and visitors is noted with a designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of California Cyclists. The city's organizing committee consists of leaders from the Chamber of Commerce, former city council members, and cycling enthusiast groups who will prepare the city for the onslaught of cycling teams, thousands of visitors and local business and tourism opportunities.
"We look forward to hosting an enthusiastic audience that will enjoy our warm hospitality and breathtaking setting," said Local Organizing Committee Co-Chair Paul Held during a community rally celebrating the city's selection.
"Claremont's picturesque setting for Stage 7 is deceptive, because soon after the riders leave town, they face a long, brutal climb up Mount Baldy. I've done this ride and even for the most seasoned cyclist the changing course and weather conditions can break you," said Tony Cruz, former professional cyclist and competitor in the previous five Amgen Tour of California races. "This stage will rival the toughest mountains of Europe and could decide the eventual winner of the 2011 Tour of California. Claremont will be the focal point of the race."
Serving as the start of Stage 7 in the 2011 Amgen Tour of California solidifies not only Claremont's position as a world class cycling destination but a magnet for economic success. The tour's notoriety, media presence and promotional activities will encourage thousands of visitors to stay, shop, dine, and be entertained from pre-tour practicing through the stage race. Economic returns are expected to be significant throughout the City of Claremont. Held said the city will host several community events leading up to race day to both build support for the race and to promote the healthy lifestyle that cycling provides.
"An event of this importance and size will require both strong volunteer support and well as corporate involvement," Held said. "We look forward to all of Claremont standing behind the 2011 Amgen Tour of California."
The sixth annual Amgen Tour of California will travel to and through 15 host cities. The more than 800-mile, eight-day stage race, considered to be the most important and popular race held on U.S. soil, will feature top professional cycling teams from around the world. For official stage starts and finishes along the route, fans should visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Located just 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Claremont prides itself on being a showcase community in Southern California. Its tree-lined streets, Village shopping districts, distinctive hotels and spas, and stately college campuses have made it a destination for tourists and locals alike. More information about dining and staying in Claremont can be found at http://bit.ly/visitclaremont2010.
SOURCE City of Claremont