Posted by Editor on 11/22/06
2007 Tour de Georgia Route Unveiled
State parks, national landmarks, classic mountains and the state capital will highlight the route of the fifth annual Tour de Georgia, scheduled April 16 to 22, 2007. The announcement of the 12 Host Venues and overview of the seven stages was unveiled Tuesday by sports marketing company Medalist Sports and the event's Presenting Sponsor, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the business recruitment and tourism agency for the state.
Expanding its stature from six to seven days, the Tour de Georgia will begin for the first time in its five-year history on a Monday. A full week of professional cycling and community festivals will embark on April 16 from Peachtree City, Ga, located just south of metro Atlanta, and work its way in a clockwise direction around the state of Georgia and include a return to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Highlights of the 600-mile route include a dramatic individual time trial to the top of Lookout Mountain, a return to the epic mountain-top finish on Brasstown Bald Mountain, a stage finish in Stone Mountain Park and a return to downtown Atlanta and Centennial Olympic Park as the Overall Finish.
"Each of these great communities will be able to put its own unique stamp on the event," said Craig Lesser, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "Adding an extra day to the Tour de Georgia schedule means more people than ever will have the chance to enjoy the excitement of this international event, and will only enhance the Tour's already strong impact on Georgia's economy."
Stage 1: Monday, April 16 - Peachtree City, Ga. to Macon, Ga.
Stage 2: Tuesday, April 17 - Thomaston, Ga. to Rome, Ga.
Stage 3: Wednesday, April 18 - Rome, Ga. to Chattanooga, Tenn.
Stage 4: Thursday, April 19 - Chickamauga/Walker Co., Ga. to Lookout Mountain, Ga. (Time Trial)
Stage 5: Friday, April 20 - Dalton, Ga. to Brasstown Bald Mountain/Towns Co., Ga.
Stage 6: Saturday, April 21 - Lake Lanier Islands/ Hall Co., Ga. to Stone Mountain Park/Dekalb Co., Ga.
Stage 7: Sunday, April 22 - Atlanta, Ga. (circuit race)
Of the 12 host venues introduced at the press conference overlooking Centennial Olympic Park from the rooftop of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, three have hosted the Tour for five consecutive years - Dalton, Macon and Rome. Brasstown Bald Mountain will host a stage finish for the fourth consecutive year. Of the eight returning Host Venues, Thomaston and Atlanta have not hosted the Tour since 2004 and 2003, respectively.
The week-long spring tradition will again cover over 600 miles of racing and maintains its stature as a tune-up for the Tour de France on the international cycling calendar. Fifteen professional cycling teams from around the world, each with eight athletes, will be extended special invitations to participate in the 2007 Tour de Georgia. Two UCI ProTour teams have already accepted those invitations, including the Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Team (USA) and Predictor-Lotto (Belgium).
The Tour de Georgia is one of the highest ranked stage races outside of Europe with a 2.HC rating from the Union Cycliste Internationale (international governing body of cycling) and is one of 15 races on the new USA Cycling Professional Tour. The 2006 event included 120 athletes from 24 countries. The final field of world-class teams and athletes is expected to be announced in early 2007.
"As we enter our fifth year, we are proud to be part of the Tour de Georgia's growth in international prominence and the significance here in the State of Georgia. The success of Tour de Georgia continues to generate positive value for local communities and the state, excitement for the event spectators, as well as provides a prestigious level of competition for these world-class athletes. In partnership with our host communities and corporate sponsors, we challenge ourselves every year to raise the bar, and the 2007 Tour de Georgia promises to be as exciting as ever." said Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner for Medalist Sports and the Executive Director for the Tour de Georgia.
Since 2003 the Tour de Georgia has attracted 2.3 million spectators and generated over $121 million in economic impact for the state of Georgia. The event has also raised both awareness and revenue for the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the official beneficiary of the Tour. 2007 will mark the fifth consecutive year for this partnership.
"Cyclists have a lot in common with the Georgia Cancer Coalition. We both work with a team of professionals, setting our sights on an uphill battle, facing twists and turns, with confidence that we will succeed in our quest. The support of the Tour de Georgia and of the communities of fans around the state helps the Coalition on our path to improving cancer care in the state of Georgia, and we are very appreciative of those efforts, "said Bill Todd, Coalition President and CEO.
Details for each of the seven stages, including maps, mileage, elevation profiles, and recommended viewing locations, are being planned by Medalist Sports. All information will be posted on the official website, www.tourdegeorgia.com.
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