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Auburn’s Amgen, Lance Armstrong moment to be shown Jumbotron-sized

Tour of California’s back story a personal one for couple locked in cancer battle
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Lance & Co.’s Amgen Tour of California power pedal through Auburn on May 16 will be captured on Jumbotron screens in Downtown and Old Town Auburn. With eight cameras strategically placed along the main and most picturesque parts of the Auburn route, production team Brian Roat and Toni Rossetta of Abouthere.tv will oversee the filming. It will be the telling of a story that will go by fast but represents perhaps the biggest single event to touch down on the community since the Gold Rush. And for Roat and Rossetta – partners in life as well as in an Internet video production business – the story of Amgen also overlaps a personal and frightening journey the two are now traveling. Less than two months ago, Rossetta, 47, was diagnosed with breast cancer. But she’s postponed a double mastectomy until after the Amgen visit to Auburn. She said she’s delaying the operation so she can help tell another chapter in the story of the short visit of another cancer survivor she looks up to – Lance Armstrong. “This isn’t just about a bike race,” Rossetta said. “It’s about endurance and strength. It’s about what’s underneath – finding that cure.” Abouthere.tv’s parent business Thrust New Media Marketing is partnering with Old Town and Downtown business organizations to provide the equipment and expertise to film the race. They’ll do so from a variety of vantage points that will help give Old Town and Central Square Amgen viewers a real-time look at the race on a giant screen. The biggest screen is a 16-foot-wide, 9-foot-high Jumbotron that will be located at the entrance to Lewis Street on Central Square at High Street and Lincoln Way. Two 9-foot-wide Minitrons will be placed in Old Town Auburn, with one of the locations including bleachers for viewers to watch the TV feed and then cheer the riders as they roll by. Rossetta is in charge of operations and logistics while Roat, a veteran videographer who has lived in Auburn for the past four years, serves as executive producer. The footage viewers will see from Auburn will be combined with other shots taken on the street and from the top of the Placer County Courthouse for a Web video of the event that Roat said is intended to help market the city in the future with the Amgen Tour of California. The first leg of the eight-stage Amgen tour starts from Nevada City next Sunday and ends later in the day at the Capitol in Sacramento. Riders should be in view of the local production cameras starting at about 1:10 p.m. Before that, the Jumbotron will pick up a Webcast from a European network broadcasting the event live starting at about 11 a.m.. The European feed should continue through to the end of the race. Independently, KAHI 950 AM will provide a local, live radio account of the race, with reporters located along the route on a program anchored by Dave Rosenthal. For TV viewers, cable’s Versus will pick up the ride at 2 p.m., after the riders have left Auburn and are in the vicinity of Salmon Falls Road in El Dorado County. Roat, 43, said his goal is to provide an entertaining look at the race for people Sunday and then edit the footage into an epic account of the Auburn experience that will sell the Amgen tour organizers on coming back – and perhaps even setting up Auburn as a start or finish on one of the legs. The city is already off to an excellent start in that pursuit, he said. The Amgen race director said at a briefing last Sunday that in all the years of the race, he had never had a community respond the way Auburn has, Roat said. “Here’s a chance for international exposure and we’re already making an impression,” he said. “Our goal is to tell an epic story to say we deserve to be on the Amgen map next year.” And underlying the epic story is a small story of two people facing their own challenges bravely. Rossetta said her operation is already scheduled soon after the race. “When the dust settles, I’ll be spending my time taking care of her,” Roat said. Rossetta said she isn’t alone in admiring Armstrong and supporting the biotech company Amgen as a sponsor because of its quest to find new ways to fight diseases like cancer. “It’s such a great cause and it really hits home for me and so many others,” she said. “We’ll be telling a story and we’re doing this because we want to.”