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The Amgen Tour of California Cycling Race Pacing to Break Records

San Luis Obispo, CA, February 24, 2006 – With three days of racing remaining in the inaugural Amgen Tour of California cycling road race, organizers have reported crowd estimates have surpassed 680,000 spectators for the first five days of the 600-mile, eight-stage race which began Sunday, Feb. 19 in San Francisco and will conclude this Sunday, Feb. 26 in Redondo Beach, Calif.

"It looks to be a good race. Not just good teams here, but the teams have brought good riders as well, and they're all motivated to do very well. From the UCI's point of view, it’s good to see this in its first year," said Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI. "I have no doubt that the potential is here to grow and develop this race into a big, big spectacle in both the state of California and the United States."

"From both a competition and overall stature level, the Amgen Tour of California has already established itself as not only America's most important cycling competition but one of the world's top events on the cycling calendar," said Mike Plant, Executive Committee Member, United Cycliste Internationale and founder of Tour DuPont. "Whether you are a fan who follows and appreciates elite-level sports competitions or are witnessing the amazing and exciting sport of road racing for the first time, I can guarantee the excitement and caliber of competition will be unlike anything you have ever witnessed," continued Plant, a Board Member of the United States Olympic Committee.

Organizers predict that the attendance figures indicate that the race is on track to set records for highest attendance ever for a cycling event held in the United States, as well as for any single sporting event held in the state of California, surpassing such competitions as the 1994 Men's World Cup Competition, 1999 Women's World Cup, 2005 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing, The X Games (multiple years), the 1988 World Series (Dodgers vs. A's), the 1989 World Series (Giants vs. A's) and the 2002 World Series (Angels vs. Giants).

"With a field of cycling teams that is clearly considered world-caliber, fans have shown their excitement and appreciation for the race by attending in record numbers," said Shawn Hunter, President, AEG Sports, presenters of the Amgen Tour of California. "With each day of racing becoming more exciting and dramatic, it is clear that the coverage, word-of-mouth and results have established this race as one of the greatest sporting events held in recent years."

"With thousands of fans lining the race course, and thousands more attending the ceremonies in each of the host cities, the inaugural Amgen Tour of California is truly a world-class event," said Phyllis Piano, Amgen's vice president of Corporate Communications and Philanthropy. "Just as Amgen is known for innovation and breakthrough advances in medicine, the Amgen Tour of California is proving to be a breakthrough cycling event, building enthusiasm for the great sport of cycling."

Stage Five today will bring the riders 105.3 miles from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara. The stage will follow the central coast until the sprint city of Guadalupe, where the field will leave the flatlands and head east to the Santa Ynez Mountains via the Solvang area. The riders will then face the four-mile Category One climb to San Marcos Pass before descending to a beachfront finish in Santa Barbara.

For full results, official times, archived footage, photos and play-by-play of the Amgen Tour of California, please visit the official race Web site at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. For images from today’s stage and the week, please go to www.gettyimages.com. A one-hour race recap will be broadcast on ESPN2 tonight at 10 p.m. PST.

Still to come this week:

Saturday, Feb. 25 – Stage 6, Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks
Estimated Start Time: 10 a.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 26 – Stage 7, Redondo Beach Circuit Race
Estimated Start Time: 1 p.m.
Estimated Finish Time: 4 p.m.


Friday, Feb. 24, 2006
18:00 - 18:30 ET (3:00pm - 3:30pm PT)
Test slate up for first 15 minutes, B-roll feed second 15 minutes
Domestic Ku-band distribution: Digital 4:2:2
Transmit: Ku-band TES
Satellite: SBS6, tr. 5

Digital - Tiernan 4:2:2 -
Uplink Freq: 14123.000 (V)
Downlink Freq: 11823.000 (H)
FEC Rate: 3/4
Symbol Rate: 18.085106 Msps
Data Rate: 25 Mbps

Channel 1: Program Mix
Channel 2: Program Mix

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AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, The Manchester Evening News Arena and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), five Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race debuting in San Francisco on February 19th; 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. Additionally, the company has begun fully developing the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create the O2, a new arena within the ‘Dome’ and additional arenas, on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin and Spring Center in Kansas City, Missouri; stadiums in Bridgeview, Illinois and Harrison, New Jersey. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com

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