Michelle Rindels
Staff Writer

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October 21, 2009
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Gathering today for Tour of California announcement

Nevada City is planning a community-wide reception this morning at City Hall, coinciding with an announcement officials hope pegs the town as a stage of America's biggest bike race.

At 10 a.m. today, race organizers in Los Angeles are expected to announce the host cities of the Amgen Tour of California, a 750-mile team road race that attracts the biggest names in professional cycling.

The 2009 race involved 16 host cities throughout the state. Rumors have swirled that Nevada City could be the starting point for the May 2010 race.

The city is competing with dozens of others to play host, but local officials hope endorsements from cycling's demi-gods - teammates Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer - will secure an Amgen nod.

"What we did today," Leipheimer said after his team won June's Nevada City Bicycle Classic, "is show that Nevada City deserves to be on the route of the Tour of California."

The Nevada City Classic usually draws about 5,000 people, but appearances by Armstrong and his team at the 49th annual race drew an estimated 30,000 people.

If the city wins host honors for the Tour of California, numerous cycling stars and tens of thousands of spectators could descend on Nevada City, boosting business in the area.

While the host city announcement was first expected in late September, it was postponed for unspecified reasons. The reception begins at 9:30 in City Hall's Council Chambers. Refreshments will be provided.

City Manager Gene Albaugh urged cycling enthusiasts to follow the unfolding events through the Twitter pages of the Amgen Tour (@amgentourofcali), Levi Leipheimer (@LeviLeipheimer), Dave Zabriskie (@dzabriskie) and George Hincapie (@ghincapie).

Staff Writer Michelle Rindels can be reached at mrindels@theunion.com or (530) 477-4247.

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The Union Updated Oct 22, 2009 01:33AM Published Oct 21, 2009 08:30PM Copyright 2009 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.