Yesterday’s Breakaway from Cancer event gave hundreds of cyclists the chance to ride the same 114-mile route that the professionals will race during Stage 2 of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.
Cancer survivors and four-time Amgen competitor George Hincapie led the pack of amateur cyclists yesterday morning from Davis’ Central Park to Santa Rosa.
Cycling fans from all skill levels could choose to complete 50- or 22-mile segments. The Breakaway Ride, presented by Specialized, was founded in 2005 by Amgen and fundraises for nonprofit partners and those affected by cancer.
“We felt it would be a great opportunity for people who care about riding bikes to really see how hard every single stage of a professional race really is,” said AEG Sports President Andrew Messick at a VIP reception Saturday evening. “We’re doing this for Breakaway from Cancer, which is a charitable initiative that is near and dear to the hearts of our partners at Amgen. I can’t imagine two communities in the United States that are better and more supportive of bicycling than Davis and Santa Rosa.”
Local Davis sponsors of the Stage 2 Start such as Comcast, AT&T, Sutter Davis Hospital and Hallmark Inn, along with several inductees to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame were present at the Third and B Street location, which held its grand opening on Saturday.
Hincapie is also an 11-time Tour de France veteran and 2009 U.S. Professional Road Race Champion.
“[Amgen is] not a new, upstart race,” Hincapie said. “It’s a race where people come to make their dreams come true. The new course is going to be difficult. We go into the mountains this year. It’s going to be exciting from the first day to the final kilometers down near Los Angeles.”
Hincapie’s major goal this year is to win Stage 2 and place in the overall, he said at the reception. He anticipates tough racing at Amgen this year.
“I went for a bike ride today – a nice two-hour ride. The roads are wonderful, bike paths all over the place, and it’s very fitting for the Hall of Fame to be in Davis.”
– Pooja Kumar