AMGEN Tour Returns to the Valley, Clovis Left in the Dust

October 21, 2009 12:13:38 AM PDT
The AMGEN Tour of California is making its way back to California, and the Valley. While the official route for next year's cycling race won't be announced until Thursday ... Action News has learned which Valley cities are on the list.The streets of Clovis were packed with excited cycling fans this past February. City leaders were hopeful the tour would return next year, but that does not seem to be the case.

The AMGEN Tour of California will be speeding past Clovis next year ... and Fresno is out too. Clovis City Councilmember Nathan Magsig says he's disappointed the city won't have the opportunity to play host in May of 2010. He said, "Unfortunately it looks like we're not going to be selected for 2010 but we are very hopeful for 2011 that we will be selected one of the things that Clovis has to offer that other cities do not are the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains which are east of here."

Although the official announcement won't come until Thursday, Merced does not appear to be on the list of tour stops either. Visalia is the only Valley city that world class cyclists will again pedal through. City leaders have been told Visalia will be a starting point for a leg of the race that is expected to end in Bakersfield. Bakersfield city leaders are expected to hold a press conference later this week confirming details.

Clovis officials will not speculate why the city is being passed up. The descents and radical elevation changes from the foothills into Clovis make the ride both challenging and scenic. The city is optimistic about their chances to pull ahead of competing cities next time around.

"We're looking forward to having many of those racers including Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Mark Cavendish back in Clovis sometime soon," said Magsig.

AMGEN Tour stops are big financial boosts to host cities. Clovis attracted 48 thousand people, many of those visitors stayed in motels and spent money. City officials say the local economy received about $830-thousand dollars to from the daylong event.

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