Tour De AEG

Anschutz Entertainment Group‘s inaugural Amgen Tour of California, the eight-day cycling event modeled after the Tour de France, will run February 19-26, AEG has announced.

Sixteen professional cycling teams from around the globe will compete in the 700-mile race from San Francisco to Redondo Beach, Calif.

“The event will celebrate not only the athleticism and grace of cycling but also the beauty of the state of California, which will be on display for everyone to see – both on television and in person along the route,” AEG President Tim Leiweke said.

The company estimates that more than 1 million spectators will line the route, stretching from Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, the Monterey Peninsula, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks.

ESPN2 will broadcast the competition daily.

The event has $35 million in committed funding from AEG for the next five years. “If we have to put up all the money and not generate any revenue for five years, we will,” Leiweke said in announcing the creation of the tour last March.

He added that the race will not be a one- or two-year-and-out event. The company’s goal is to make Amgen Tour of California one of the two or three best cycling events in the world.

Amgen Inc., the race’s title sponsor, is a Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company dedicated to developing medicines to help those afflicted with cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses.