LANCE ARMSTRONG SET TO RIDE IN THE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA: FEB 14-22, 2009

LANCE ARMSTRONG SET TO RIDE IN THE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA: FEB 14-22, 2009 - FEBRUARY 7, 2009

City Life NewsLOS ANGELES, – The 2009 Amgen Tour of California will assemble the best-ever collection of the world’s top cyclists when America’s most important road race begins February 14, in Sacramento. Featuring a field that includes seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong and two-time defending Amgen Tour of California Champion Levi Leipheimer (both racing for Astana), the 136 rider peloton also is expected to include 2006 Giro d’Italia Champion Ivan Basso (leader of team Liquigas); 2008 Olympic Champion in the time trial Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank); 2006 Amgen Tour of California Champion Floyd Landis (Ouch presented by Maxxis); 2005 World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step); three-time World Champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank); two-time United States National Champion George Hincapie (Team Columbia); and the top American performer in the 2008 Tour de France Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream). Other anticipated participants include, 2008 Tour de France Champion Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam); four-time Norwegian National Champion Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam); 2008 U.S. Professional Champion and Olympic Gold Medal Winner Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing); Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia), widely considered to be the world’s best sprinter; 2008 Best Young Rider in the Amgen Tour of California Robert Gesink (Rabobank); and 2008 Tour de France Best Young Rider Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).

“It is clear that this year’s Amgen Tour of California has the greatest field ever assembled in our country. We have legendary champions like Lance Armstrong, an extraordinary array of the best professional cyclists riding today and many of the most talented young riders in the world,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.

The 750-mile, nine-day stage race, modeled after the Tour de France and presented by AEG, will take 17 of the world’s top professional cycling teams from Sacramento to San Diego County from February 14-22.

“I will be competing in the Amgen Tour of California,” confirmed Lance Armstrong. “The level of competition, the challenge of the course and the highly professional atmosphere makes it the ideal situation for me to continue my training. I have also chosen the Amgen Tour of California because of the race’s record of supporting Cancer awareness and research thru their Amgen Breakaway from Cancer initiatives and their commitment to partner with our Lance Armstrong Foundation. I look forward to racing once again in the United States in what we consider the best race outside of Europe.”

The unprecedented field of riders expected to compete in the fourth-annual event, which drew a record 1.6 million spectators in 2008, includes two Tour de France Champions (Armstrong, Sastre), a Giro d’Italia Champion (Basso), 10 World Champions (Armstrong, Boonen, Cancellara, Michael Rogers, Cavendish, Brett Lancaster, Stuart O’Grady, Francisco Chicchi-Jr, Yoroslav Popovych-Jr. and Janez Brajokovic-Jr.), 26 Olympians and eight Olympic medalists (Armstrong, Cancellara, Hamilton, Leipheimer, Gustav Larsson, O’Grady, Rogers and Hayden Roulston) and 25 past and current National Champions.
Renowned riders from the previously announced 17 professional cycling teams competing in the race include the following:

* Lance Armstrong (Austin, TX) – Astana Making a comeback after a three-year retirement, the legendary Armstrong has won the Tour de France a record seven times. Racing for Astana under his former team’s general manager Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong enters his first Amgen Tour of California fresh from retirement. His resume includes wins at the San Sebastian Classic (1995), Tour of Switzerland (2001), Duaphine Libere (2002, 2003), Tour DuPont (1995, 1996) and a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, as well as a World Championship (1993) and a U.S. Professional Championship (1993). During his reign atop the world’s biggest big race, Armstrong amassed an amazing 22 stage wins. His LIVESTRONG brand is now a global symbol of hope.
* Ivan Basso (Italy) – Liquigas In 2006, Ivan Basso won his country’s biggest race, the Giro d’Italia. The same year he also won the prestigious Criterium Internationale race. In total, he has won five stages of the Giro d’Italia and a stage of the Tour de France. He enters his second Amgen Tour of California as his team’s leader for the first time.
* Tom Boonen (Belgium) – Quick Step One of the greatest sprinters in the world, Boonen enters the Amgen Tour of California with his eyes on winning a stage. The 2005 World Champion, Boonen is a great one-day rider who could win any bunch sprint. Boonen’s recent resume includes an impressive six stage wins at the 2007 Tour de France, as well as the sprint points jersey; two stages at the Vuelta a España; two wins of the Ronde van Vlaanderen; and two dramatic wins at the world’s toughest one-day race, the Paris-Roubaix (2005, 2008).
* Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) – Saxo Bank Perhaps the world’s best time trialist, Cancellara won last year’s opening Prologue at the Amgen Tour of California and went on to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual time trial and an unprecedented bronze medal on the road at the 2008 Beijing Games. A three-time stage winner and yellow jersey bearer in the Tour de France, Cancellara also has won two World Championships in the time trial competition. A six-time time trial national champion of Switzerland, he has won the two “monuments,” Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo, as well as the Italian stage race, Tirreno-Adriatico. He has posted more than 20 time trial wins in his professional career and is a favorite to win the opening Prologue in this year’s Amgen Tour of California.
* Mark Cavendish (Britain) – Team Columbia 2008 was a remarkable year for Cavendish, as he amassed 14 victories at major stage races. He won two stages at the Three Days of De Panne; two in the Giro d’Italia; four in the Tour de France; three in the Tour of Ireland; and three stage wins and the sprint points classification at the Tour of Missouri. He started cycling as a BMX racer, building his speed at a young age. He transferred that energy over to velodrome racing and won two World Championships in the Men’s Madison Title. Cavendish is widely considered to be the best sprinter in the world today.
* Oscar Freire (Spain) – Rabobank When it comes to performing well in big races, Freire has done it as well as anyone in professional cycling. A three-time World Champion, Freire also has won four stages at the Tour de France and seven stages at the Vuelta a España. He’s also won three prestigious European races, including the Tirreno-Adriatico, Ghent-Wevelgem and is a two-time winner of Milan-San Remo. Last season, he fulfilled a career goal of winning the sprint points jersey at the Tour de France.
* Tyler Hamilton (Boulder, CO) – Rock Racing Hamilton is most known for his courageous Tour de France breakaway win at the 2003 race while riding with a broken collarbone. Hamilton recently won the U.S. Professional Championships in August and, earlier in the year, won the Tour of Quinghai Lake in China. He has won an Olympic gold medal in the time trial at the 2004 Athens Games; two overall wins at the Tour of Romandie; overall win at the European classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege; and stage wins at both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
* George Hincapie (Greenville, SC) – Team Columbia American cycling icon Hincapie turned professional at age 20, and since then has been the member of a record eight winning Tour de France teams, during which he served as the main lieutenant for Lance Armstrong’s historic seven wins. He has claimed his own victories throughout his 15-year career as well including, winning two stages at the 2005 Tour de France and the 2006 U.S. Professional Championships; a stage of France’s Dauphine-Libre; as well as winning the 2007 Tour of Missouri. Hincapie also is a two-time U.S. National Champion (road race) and a five-time Olympian. In the Amgen Tour of California, Hincapie has claimed three stage wins, including two in the inaugural race in 2006, in which he placed fourth overall, and a thrilling win on a rain-soaked final day in Pasadena last year.
* Thor Hushovd (Norway) – Cervélo TestTeam Hushovd remains one of the best sprinters, as well as prologue specialists, in the world. He is a threat to win the opening Prologue at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. A six-time stage winner and sprint points jersey winner of the Tour de France, the Norwegian remains a threat to win any sprint. A well-rounded rider, Hushovd also is a four-time Norwegian National Champion and winner of stages in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. In 2006, he won the prestigious Belgian Classic Fleche Wallone.
* Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg) – Team Columbia Kirchen had a breakthrough year in 2008, winning the Pais Vasco race in Spain and winning a stage at the Tour of Switzerland and the Belgian Classic Fleche Wallone. To cap off his year, Kirchen led the Tour de France for four days and found himself in the green points jersey for several others. He has finished seventh and eighth in the Tour de France in 2007 and 2008, respectively. He also is a three-time National Champion of Luxembourg.
* Floyd Landis (Temecula, CA) – Ouch presented by Maxxis The 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be Landis’ first competition in two and a half years. A one-time domestique of Lance Armstrong, Landis began his ascent to team leader in 2005, capping things off the following year by winning both the 2006 Amgen Tour of California and the Tour de Georgia. In 2009, Landis has re-emerged with a new American team and is set to race again at this year’s Amgen Tour of California. A former mountain biker, Landis suffered from a degenerative hip condition which forced him to receive an artificial hip replacement at the end of 2006.
* Levi Leipheimer (Santa Rosa, CA) – Astana Leipheimer enters the Amgen Tour of California as the two-time defending champion. Leipheimer is a four-time, top-10 finisher at the Tour de France and won a stage of the race in 2007. That same year, he won the U.S. Professional Championships, while also winning two stages at the Tour de Georgia and one at the Tour of Missouri. In 2008, he won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics. His dominance is noted in his home state, as he has won four stages of the Amgen Tour of California while garnering top honors twice, as well as the KOM jersey in the inaugural race.
* Michael Rogers (Australia) – Team Columbia Hailed as one of the world’s most talented riders, Rogers finished in the top-10 in both the time trial and road race competitions at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The three-time World Champion in the individual time trial followed that up with finishing second overall at the Tour of Missouri. After suffering through mononucleosis and a strain of Epstein-Barr syndrome, the tough Aussie seems to be back in top form, recently winning the time trail in the Australian National Championships this month.
* Andy Schleck (Luxembourg) – Saxo Bank Hailed as the next great stage racer, Schleck has been racing professionally for the past three seasons. The younger brother of Frank Schleck, he finished first in the Best Young Rider competition in the 2008 Tour de France and the 2007 Giro d’Italia, where he also placed second overall. This past August, he finished fifth overall in the 2008 Olympic Road Race in Beijing.
* Christian Vande Velde (Lemont, IL) – Garmin-Slipstream Vande Velde has developed into one of the best all-around riders in the world in the past two years. After years of being a domestique for top teams, Vande Velde placed third overall at the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, led the Giro d’Italia for a day, placed fourth overall at the Tour de France and was the overall champion at the Tour of Missouri this past season. He also placed 17th overall at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His breakthrough as a team leader came when he won the Tour of Luxembourg in 2006, followed by placing second overall at the 2007 Tour de Georgia.
* Jens Voigt (Germany) – Saxo Bank A long-time force in the peloton, Germany’s Voigt is one of the most admired cyclists in the professional peloton. Over the years, he has won two stages of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. A threat to win any road stage, Voigt has an impressive background, including wins in his country’s national tour (2006, 2007), the Tour of Poland (2008), the Tour of the Mediterranean and the Criterium Internationale, which he has won four times overall. In the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, he battled Levi Leipheimer throughout the eight-day race, eventually finishing second overall.
* David Zabriskie (Salt Lake, UT) – Garmin-Slipstream As the only American to win a stage of all three Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España), Zabriskie is one of the most talented time trialists in the world. He is a four-time U.S. National Champion in the time trial and has won two medals at the World Championships. After spending several seasons with the former top-ranked CSC team, Zabriskie is now with American team Garmin-Slipstream and has used that as a springboard for success. One of the most colorful personalities in the peloton, Zabriskie is a threat to win the Prologue or Individual Time Trial at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California.

*Complete team rosters to follow in the days leading up to the race For more information about the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

About the Amgen Tour of California
The largest cycling event in America, the Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course. Building on last year’s third-annual stage race, which attracted 1.6 million spectators, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 750 miles over nine days from February 14-22, 2009.

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 and 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, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives. To learn more about Amgen’s pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com. To learn more about Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About AEG
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 NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, a Women’s Professional Soccer league team, the Los Angeles Sol, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers, the ING 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 atwww.aegworldwide.com.

Posted by Margie Anne Clark, City Life Communications.

CITY OF SANTA CLARITA FILM OFFICE SEES INCREASES IN FILM DAYS AND ECONOMIC IMPACT IN JANUARY 2009 - FEBRUARY 3, 2009

City Life NewsSANTA CLARITA -The City of Santa Clarita Film Office announced today that the month of January 2009 was the most successful to date, with the office overseeing more film days and reporting a higher economic impact for the month than any other January on record since the office’s inception in 2002.
The City of Santa Clarita reported a total of 84 film days in the month, a 265 percent increase when compared to January 2008 when the City hosted 23 film days. Location filming for the month resulted in more than $2.3 million in economic benefit to Santa Clarita businesses, compared to January 2008 when $367,500 in economic impact was reported. The City of Santa Clarita Film Office issued 25 permits in January 2009, compared to 24 permits in January 2008.
The Film Office attributes the dramatic increase in film days to the steady base of local television production in Santa Clarita, which currently includes HBO’s “Big Love,” CBS’s “NCIS” and “The Unit,” and Discovery Channel’s “Doing Da Vinci.” And while the City of Santa Clarita is proud to start 2009 on a strong note, officials remain realistic about the coming months and what they will bring with the still-looming SAG strike and weakening economy.
“We are thrilled to start 2009 on such a strong note,” said Mayor Frank Ferry. “Los Angeles’ film community, which includes Santa Clarita, is really taking a hit with feature films leaving for other states and countries offering production incentives. However, Santa Clarita’s ability to capture television production has really offset the losses and declines most cities are feeling in Southern California.”
In addition to shows based in the City, several other television shows, like “24,” “Heroes,” “House,” “Wipeout,” and “My Name is Earl,” regularly film on location in Santa Clarita. And in the month of January, the City also hosted several small budget feature film days and commercials.
Location filming is an important part of the Santa Clarita Valley economy, contributing an estimated $13.5 million in economic impact locally in the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2008-2009, which runs from July through June.
The City continues to market our valley as an ideal place to film and credits its success as a prime film destination to Santa Clarita’s film-friendly neighborhoods and businesses, variety of locations, affordable permit and location fees, close proximity to Los Angeles, and access to talented industry professionals.
Santa Clarita businesses continue to make the area an ideal place to work in the industry’s “30-Mile Zone,” an industry designation that allows productions to save money on per diem and mileage, by keeping location and rental fees competitive. The residential communities are also a big part of the Santa Clarita Valley’s success, with individual homeowners and neighborhoods working hand-in-hand with productions to make filming happen, even when it includes the occasional late hours and complicated scenes.
The City of Santa Clarita’s Film Office was created to help attract and retain the filming industry including both location filming and film-related businesses. The office currently issues permits for all location filming within the City ensuring that there is a
minimal impact on residents and businesses, promotes the City as an ideal place for the film industry to do businesses, and promotes the Santa Clarita Valley as a great place for location filming.
The film industry is a major economic engine of the City’s economy, providing increased revenue for local programs through sales tax revenue, and jobs for residents. For more information about the Film Office, please contact City of Santa Clarita Economic Development Associate Jessica Freude at (661) 286-4103 or visit santa-clarita.com.

Posted by Margie Anne Clark, City Life Communications.

FINAL TEAMS ANNOUNCED FOR 2009 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26, 2009

FINAL TEAMS ANNOUNCED FOR 2009 amgen tour of californiaPROFESSIONAL ROAD CYCLING race which begins february 14th

Santa Clarita to host Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer Fabian Cancellara and Oscar Freire

Among the World’s Best Teams February 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES, January 22, 2009 – Joining the previously announced eight ProTour teams, nine additional Pro Continental and Continental teams have been confirmed for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California by AEG, presenter of the professional cycling race. The nine-day stage race will feature 17 of the world’s top professional teams, including world-renowned riders Lance Armstrong, two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer, three-time World Champion Oscar Freire and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner and world champion Fabian Cancellara, racing more than 750-miles from the state’s capitol, Sacramento, to San Diego County.

Santa Clarita will host the Stage 7 start of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. The roster features the following 17 professional cycling teams:

o Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)
o Astana (KAZ)
o Bissell Pro Cycling Team (USA)*
o BMC Racing Team (USA)*
o Cervelo Test Team (SUI)*
o Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light (USA)*
o Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation Team (AUS)*
o Garmin-Chipotle (USA)
o Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)*
o Liquigas (ITA)
o Ouch Presented by Maxxis (USA)*
o Quick Step (BEL)
o Rabobank (Netherlands)
o Rock Racing (USA)*
o Saxo Bank (DEN)
o Team Columbia (USA)
o Team Type 1 (USA)*

*Newly announced

“These 17 teams represent the strongest field ever at the Amgen Tour of California. We are delighted to welcome some of the world’s best and most established teams, as well as new teams racing with us for the first time,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “The level of competition and talent for the fourth-annual Amgen Tour of California rivals the top races in the world and demonstrates the importance of the United States to pro cycling U.S.”

Along with the Pro Tour teams, the growing class of top domestic teams will be represented by return competitors Bissell Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing Team, Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light, Jelly Belly Cycling Team, OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis (formerly Team Health Net) and Rock Racing, and new competitors Cervelo Test Team, Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation Team and Team Type 1.

Several of the 17 professional cycling teams will hold their pre-season training camps in California, which will give residents across the state an opportunity to watch these elite athletes prepare for one of the top professional cycling races in the United States.

“The amount of energy and excitement the Amgen Tour of California brings to town is absolutely electric,” said Mayor Frank Ferry. “On February 21 the eyes of the world will be on us and we can’t wait to host Lance Armstrong and many of the top cyclists in the world when
America’s top cycling event comes to town.”

Kicking off the countdown to the Amgen Tour of California, the City of Santa Clarita will host Hit the Trail, a community bike ride and rally to kick off the countdown to the Amgen Tour of California, on Saturday, January 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local residents are invited to enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the City’s off-street bike trails from one of three starting points en route to Bridgeport Park, where participants of all ages will enjoy food, fun and giveaways. For more information on Hit the Trail, including the location of bike ride starting points, visit santa-clarita.com/tourofca.

The largest cycling event in America, the Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course. Building on last year’s third-annual stage race, which attracted 1.6 million spectators, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 750 miles over nine days from February 14-22, 2009.

For more about AEG, please contact Michael Roth at (213) 742-7155 or at mroth@aeg-la.com. For more information regarding tour routes and event details, please contact Nicole Okoneski at (213) 428-8793 or nokoneski@golinharris.com. For more about the teams competing in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, please visitwww.amgentourofcalifornia.com.