Tour of California announces 2007 host cities


LOS ANGELES -- The course for next year's Amgen Tour of
California cycling road race will wind through several new "host
cities" and conclude in Long Beach for the first time.

The inaugural eight-day event was won last February by Floyd
Landis of Murrieta, Calif., who currently is contending for the
Tour de France title.

Backers announced Thursday that the 2007 race will include new
host cities Sacramento, Stockton, Seaside, Solvang and Santa

Other host cities include Sausalito, Santa Rosa, San Jose, San
Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

The race is expected to draw a field of more than 150 of the
world's top cyclists.

USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson said the inaugural Tour of
California helped put bicycle racing back on the map in the United

"With a solid foundation on which to build, the Amgen Tour of
California is on pace to become one of the top cycling events in
the world, which is paramount in growing the sport in the United
States," Johnson said in a statement.

The 2007 race is scheduled to begin with a Feb. 18 prologue in
San Francisco, then the first stage will be from Sausalito to Santa
Rosa the following day. The event will end with a circuit race in
Long Beach on Feb. 25.

Landis won this year's race, which finished in Redondo Beach, by
29 seconds. David Zabriskie of Salt Lake City finished second