For the First Time Ever, Race will Travel from South to North, Starting in Escondido –  a unique city with a rich history of cycling.

Twelve cities have been named official Host City partners for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California by AEG, presenter of the race, helping to make up the route which will take riders on a South to North course for the first time in the eight-year race history. Considered America’s largest and most prestigious professional road cycling stage race, the eighth consecutive edition of the Amgen Tour of California will travel approximately 750 miles from May 12-19, 2013 – starting in Escondido, a unique city with a rich history of cycling.

“Taking the Amgen Tour of California from South to North is something we always knew we wanted to do, and we are thrilled with the way things have come together for 2013,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “We think this will bring a whole new element to the competition for the elite cyclists who participate, not to mention some striking California scenery for our worldwide audience.”

Renowned as the beautiful “Hidden Valley” – located just 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego –  Escondido had previously hosted the 2009 Amgen Tour of California’s spectacular overall finish. The race organizers and cyclists were thrilled with the course and overwhelming community support in 2009.

“I’m very excited to hear about the new South – North route for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California,” said Chris Horner, 2011 Amgen Tour of California champion. “After growing up in San Diego, I love seeing the race back on the roads I’ve ridden for the past 25 years. Being welcomed by thousands of fans in Escondido in 2009 was a highlight of my career, and I’m sure the crowds will be even more amazing for the 2013 edition.”

In 2013 the local events and festivities will fill the week prior to the start of the race… spanning from Cinco de Mayo to Mother’s Day. The official race start, Stage 1 on May 12, will begin and finish in Escondido. Thousands of spectators will participate in a full-day festival of race-watching on jumbo screens, culinary experiences, cycling demonstrations and activities for all ages.

Many of Escondido’s community icons are recalling the early history of bike racing in Escondido. Roland Gaebert, a State Parks Superintendent in the Diablo Vista District and resident of Escondido from 1956 into the 1990’s said, “Escondido had the courage to initiate and accept bicycle racing in the early 60’s when it wasn’t well know and popular. Staging the Tour de Escondido in 1962 engaged local businesses together with the community and gave focus to competitive cycling in Southern California.”

Gaebert recalls the early cycling contribution made by Ted Kirkbride, then owner of the Hidden Valley Bicycle Shop. Kirkbride, now 74, competed in the inaugural Tour de Escondido, was a renowned bicycle frame builder and a charter member of the Hidden Valley Bicycle Club. The club produced State and National Champions, Olympic Trials Qualifiers, and members of the US Armed Forces Cycling Team.

Around the same time, now legendary, Escondido High School head coach, Chick Embrey, saw a need to foster youth passions for serious cycling and helped pioneer the sport locally by giving all of the bike racers in the club seventh period PE like the football, baseball, and other school sports that gave athletes extra time to train. All he wanted was to support the kids and see the names and the race results in the local paper on Monday morning.

Escondido officials have hailed the Amgen Tour of California as a huge opportunity to boost the city’s image and reputation with tourists and developers planning housing projects or business parks. “This will give us great exposure not only on the national stage, but the worldwide stage,” Mayor Sam Abed said during the announcement news conference. An estimated 300,000 people, many of them tourists, watched at least part of the Escondido stage in person in 2009. And the race is broadcast worldwide each year, including more than 44 hours on NBC Sports.

“Escondido is riding a wave of tourism awareness that has been building for some time now,” said Katherine Zimmer, executive director of Visit Escondido. “People are surprised by the major attractions and uniquely diverse things to do here… this incredible event will help us get the word out to a much broader audience.”

“Each of the Host City partners is unique in its own way and brings character to our race,” continued Bachochin. “We are looking forward to another exciting year and another intense competition.”

About Escondido: Rich in history and culture, Escondido is diverse, vibrant community with just the right mix of small town friendliness and big-city buzz. Home to the California Center for the Arts Escondido, a unique visual and performing arts complex; the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, an expansive wildlife sanctuary; a sculpture garden In Kit Carson Park created by the late worldly acclaimed artist Niki de Saint Phalle; and Daley Ranch, a wilderness preserve with extensive hiking trails. Escondido also offers a variety of culinary experiences with chef-owned restaurants, a weekly farmers’ market, and many wineries and craft breweries including Stone Brewing Co & World Bistro and Gardens.   Known as the “Hidden Valley,” Escondido also offers many other activities such as enjoying a round of golf at one of the six golf courses, fishing or picnicking at two lakes, cycling on Palomar Mountain, browsing through downtown art galleries or shopping at world-class retail stores and the largest auto park in Southern California.  For more information go to and

About the Amgen Tour of California: The largest cycling event in America, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, created and presented by AEG, that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course from May 12-19, 2013 ( Amgen returns as the race title sponsor for the eighth consecutive year, continuing to leverage the event to raise awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer through its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative. (For more information, The 12 Host City partners for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California includes: • Stage 1: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido • Stage 2: Monday, May 13 – Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs • Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14 – Palmdale to Santa Clarita • Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15 – Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara • Stage 5: Thursday, May 16 – Santa Barbara to Avila Beach • Stage 6: Friday, May 17 – San Jose (Individual Time Trial) • Stage 7: Saturday, May 18 – Livermore to Mt. Diablo • Stage 8: Sunday, May 19 – San Francisco to Santa Rosa

About Amgen: Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and vital medicines, visit Follow us on

About AEG: Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Sprint Center, The O2, NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE and Best Buy Theater Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG Live, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at





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