World Class Cycling is Coming to the Valley

July 23, 2008 5:17:41 PM PDT
Clovis, Merced, Modesto and Visalia have all been pegged as host cities for next February's Amgen Tour of California."This is extremely exciting," Bob Keyes said.

Clovis Police Captain and cycling enthusiast Bob Keyes has been a strong supporter of the 3-year-old event. As he helped the city of Clovis secure its bid for the prestigious race.

"The San Joaquin Valley should feel proud to have four of its cities represented for this race that will not only be viewed throughout California but internationally as well."

Arguably the biggest bike race on American soil the tour will feature the world's fastest riders on two wheels.

"Every morning just turn on the TV and you can watch the Tour de France. The cyclists you see there will be the same who come to our valley next February," said Visalia race organizer Mike Camarena.

Riders will pedal 800 miles through 16 host cities spread out over nine straight days beginning in mid-February.

Last year the tour drew 1.6 million spectators, resulting in a statewide economic impact of $100 million. "We think it's not only a boost to our economy but the exposure we will receive internationally is something you cannot buy," said Clovis mayor Bob Whalen.

This will be the first time these four valley cities will host a leg of the race.

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