Jens Voigt, an extremely respected pro cyclist, recently retired, has been named an Ambassador for the Amgen Tour of California. The addition of this legendary cyclist to the Amgen is good news for everyone who pedals a bike. The announcement came today in a press release from Diana Sanchez of GolinHarris.
Voigt, who retired from the pro peloton ranks in October of 2014, will take on the job of advising race organizers and other functions from now till the race launches and the last tire hits the finish line. The race is scheduled for May 10th through May 17th.
A two-time Tour de France Stage Winner, Voigt will be busy. The kick-off Press Conference and opening evening event taking place May 8 in Sacramento, California will find him working hard. The kick-off press conferences are generally packed with journalists, writers, bloggers, and photographers from all over the globe. It is an intense and enjoyable press conference, and Voigt will undoubtedly be the focus of many in the pack.
Voigt knows the Amgen well. He has ridden in all the previous 9 races. The Amgen Tour of California is a multi-stage race that pedals from one end of California to the other. It is a massively wonderful stage race. The pros who ride in it respect the territory it covers very well. There isn’t anything easy about it.
The race gives cycling fans of all ages the chance to line the route and experience the excitement of the peloton as it rather quickly zooms past. The pre and post race set ups are perfect for the fans to see their favorite teams and riders, gawk at the bikes, and wonder how much that team bus must cost, along with the team cars and other assorted goodies that go along with a stage race.
Offering expert analysis is part of Voigt’s expertise. He will be doing so on a daily basis on the NBC Sports Network. Sharing what he sees will be part of a regular segment that is included with the official Tour Tracker.
Kristin Bachochin Klein, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports had this to say: “Jens Voigt’s passion for cycling energizes all those around him – from his competitors to the fans. As a competitor in all nine of the previous editions, we couldn’t imagine our 10th anniversary edition without Jens Voigt and certainly couldn’t envision a better ambassador for the Amgen Tour of California.”
The Amgen also has what they call the L’Etape California ride (The Queens Ride, as it is also known), set for May 16th. It is a a peloton expected to be in the thousands. Voigt will launch the peloton and lead the cyclists, just ordinary riders, on an 80-mile fan ride that will finish at the top of Mt. Baldy. The L’Etape will be ridden on much of the same Stage 7 course the professionals will cover later in the day. While the peloton will consist of everyday riders, the route isn’t all that easy. Mt. Baldy has “Mt.” in front of it for a reason. What is certain is that it will be a memorable experience for everyone who mounts up.
Voigt had this to say about the race: “I just couldn’t keep myself away from the Amgen Tour of California! California was always one of my favorite places to race, and I can’t wait to get out there on the beautiful course once again as an Amgen Tour of California Ambassador. I am also most excited that this opportunity will allow me to interact with the great California fans in a new and very personal way during America’s biggest race.”
Voigt will keep in touch with the cycling fan world with regular postings on his and the race’s social media platforms. Look for continuous updates on Twitter and Facebook thru the race’s final day when the 2015 Champion will be crowned.
The Amgen will, for the first time, include a women’s race, which will ride for two stages over two days in Lake Tahoe. Climbers in the women’s peloton will find this a fantastic place to ride. The third stage will ride a circuit in Sacramento. The course is the same course the men will ride. It is very fast, and the sprinters will probably take the lead here. The fourth stage is a time trial in beautiful Big Bear Lake in Southern California.
The pro women’s race has been a long time coming. It is well deserved, and is every bit as exciting and wonderful to watch as the men’s race. Amgen deserves a cheer for finally fielding a pro women’s portion of the Amgen Tour of California.