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Amgen route announcement event today

City hosting Central Square celebration
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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The city is planning to “cyclebrate” the release of the path world-class bicyclists will take as they travel from Auburn to Modesto this May. Amgen Tour of California officials plan to announce Wednesday which streets competitors will speed up and down between the starts and ends of each of the eight stages of the race. To celebrate the announcement and Auburn’s role as the start of Stage 3 May 17, the city is hosting a Cycling Celebration from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Downtown Auburn’s central square. “We want to share some of the excitement,” said Elizabeth Sands, spokeswoman for the organizing committee. The celebration will include a barbecue, music, speakers and booths from Bike Auburn, the city of Auburn and the Chamber of Commerce. Lisa Kodl, owner of Auburn Bike Works and chairwoman of the community and ancillary events committee, said they will be out selling Bike Auburn T-shirts as well as Amgen and Endurance Capital gear. Kodl said she hopes others attend to get a glimpse at the race route. “It’s going to be very exciting what Amgen’s going to do for us,” Kodl said. There will also be a 22-mile ride hosted by the Sierra Foothills Cycling Club of the Amgen route that will begin and end at Central Square, the proposed start of Stage 3. The ride starts at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the parking lot on Magnolia Avenue one block east of Lincoln Way in Auburn. The 20-mile trek will head from Auburn to Penryn and back to Central Square in time for the 4:30 p.m. festivities. Betty Bennett, a member of the cycling club and ride director for the May 14 Gold Country Century ride, said all abilities are welcome to join the ride – and the excitement. “I’m very excited,” Bennett said. “It’s going to be a great route between Auburn and Modesto.” Sands said the committee will be passing out maps with the route and announce local races, rides and community events leading up to the Amgen race. Race officials plan to release routes for stages 1, 2 and 3 on Wednesday, stages 4, 5 and 6 Thursday and stages 7 and 8 Friday. The first stage glides around Lake Tahoe and the second stage is a trek from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento. Sands said the committee also has a Facebook page and Twitter account so locals can connect with plans for Amgen-related events. A Bike Auburn website will be launched in a few days, Sands added. At today’s celebration, those interested in helping up can also sign-up to volunteer. “(Amgen) is just one more thing for our Auburn community to enjoy,” Sands said. “We’re thrilled to showcase Auburn on the international level to visitors, cyclists, other athletes and fans. This is a great opportunity for the city.” Reach Jenifer Gee at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- Amgen Tour of California route announcement What: Find out what streets cyclists will ride in Auburn Where: Central Square, Downtown Auburn When: 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday More: Barbecue and music For information: E-mail bikeauburn@yahoo.com or call the local California Visitors center at (530) 887-2111. ----------