By Jason Sumner, Special to VeloNews
It won’t be official until Friday afternoon, but no one at the world track championships was trying to hide the fact that the inaugural Tour of California will get rolling in February 2006.
Big sponsors’ banners touting the event were draped all over the ADT Event Center velodrome, and a news release noting the looming announcement of a “significant international cycling initiative” was passed out to the press on Thursday, the first day of the 2005 championships being held in Carson, California.
Attendees at Friday’s 3:30 p.m. announcement will include UCI president Hein Verbruggen, USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia, California Secretary of Education Richard Riordan, and Anschutz Entertainment Group president Timothy Leiweke.
The release added that the press conference would be “to announce the establishment of a partnership to create and produce a major new outdoor cycling road race. The multi-million dollar initiative presented and promoted by AEG, will have a significant association to the state of California and be sanctioned by the UCI as well as USA Cycling.”
According to a story that ran in the January 14 issue of the Sacramento Business Journal, the event will include nine stages over two weeks, with one stage starting at the state capitol in Sacramento and covering over 100 miles up the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe.
“We want to show off California, and this is a great way to do it,” said Riordan.
Another stage, according to the Sacramento Business Journal report, would run between Napa and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Yosemite Valley, Monterey and Santa Barbara areas, and the Santa Monica Mountains in northern Los Angeles are all also slated to be part of the route.
Check back to VeloNews.com Friday afternoon for further details.