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Tour of California for 2011? ‘Yep,’ AEG president says

  • By Brian Holcombe
  • Published May. 27, 2010
  • Updated Aug. 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM EDT

The Amgen Tour of California will be back for 2011, Anschutz Entertainment Group president Andrew Messick told VeloNews this week.

When asked whether the race, and presenting sponsor Amgen, will be back for 2011, Messick replied pointedly, “Yep.”

A source who declined to be named confirmed that headline sponsor Amgen, which was founded in Thousand Oaks, California, is signed on for the 2011 edition, the final year of a two-year extension of the company’s original partnership agreement.

Messick confirmed Sunday that his team will begin work on next year’s route in early June and plans to pursue the event’s first true mountaintop finish for 2011.

According to Messick, the 2011 race will again feature eight stages. “I don’t think that for 2011 we’ll look at expanding to nine days, but that is possible,” he said. “I think we want to go back to our core team — Jim (Birrell), Chris (Aronhalt) at Medalist and our guys — to see what we want to do for 2011 and what is required from our perspective to continue to take positive steps toward growing this race and making it increasingly relevant.”

The increasing relevance may come in the form of ProTour status for 2011. Messick has made no bones about his company’s intention to take the race to the top level of the sport and it appears that AEG may pursue that status for the next edition. This move would come with the stipulation that all ProTour teams field a squad for the event. It would also mean that Continental teams like Jelly Belly-Kenda and UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis would be excluded.

FILED UNDER: Amgen Tour of California / News / Road

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe is the editor of VeloNews.com. Holcombe joined VeloNews in 2009 following years spent introducing students to whitewater kayaking and working in avalanche control, among other more risky ventures. A Master of PR and Marketing Communications, his graduate work at the University of Denver focused on innovation, digital media management and custom publishing. Holcombe is a CSU Ram fan and proud parent, and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride. Follow him on Twitter @FCBrian.

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