Published : Saturday, November 2, 2019 | 4:36 AM
The Amgen Tour of California won’t be zipping through Pasadena running in 2020, according to the race owners, AEG. In fact, the bicycle race said it’s not going to happen at all, anywhere next year.
Citing a slackening U.S. interest in bicycle racing, the company said Oct. 28 that it will put the premier international cycling event on hiatus for the 2020 racing season, and re-evaluate whether to re-launch or not in 2021. The AEG statement was posted on their website and circulated on social media.
Kristin Klein, Executive Vice President of AEG Sports and President of the Amgen Tour of California, said the decision was “very difficult” to make.
“The business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” Klein said. “While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race.”
The Tour is California’s largest annual sporting event, contributing more than $3.5 billion to the state’s economy over the years. Each year since 2006, the cycling road race has showcased world class international cyclists, including numerous world, Olympic and national champions.
The Tour carries the distinction of being the only U.S.-based event that has both its men’s and women’s races listed on the UCI WorldTour calendar while being the only event of its kind that concurrently produces men’s and women’s stage races that offer equal prize money.
Throughout its 14-year history, the race has been hosted by the City of Pasadena six times, marking its finish at the Rose Bowl. Last May, the race ran its longest and most challenging route – 773 miles of mountain roads, highways and coastlines through 13 host cities from Sacramento to Pasadena.
The competition has also been praised for showcasing the picturesque state of California, and for creating a global platform to feature current and next-generation U.S. cyclists, introducing the sport to millions of new fans and promoting cycling as a healthy lifestyle.