Posted by Editor on 05/17/07
Tour of Pennsylvania for Under 25 Men in 2008
Officials of Governor Edward G. Rendell's administration joined business leaders and community organizers yesterday (May 16th) to announce the American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, presented by Highmark Healthy High 5, a professional cycling race expected to draw hundreds of thousands of spectators and cycling enthusiasts to Pennsylvania in June 2008.
"The Tour of Pennsylvania will help spotlight the commonwealth's scenic countryside and rich history like nothing ever before," said Governor Rendell. "We expect each city and town along the race route to benefit from an unprecedented influx of spectators from across the country and around the world."
Sponsored by American Eagle Outfitters, the leading lifestyle brand among 15-to-25 year-olds, which is based in Pittsburgh, and Highmark Healthy High 5, a five-year, $100 million initiative of the Highmark Foundation designed to promote healthy lifestyles among children and adolescents, the tour will feature 120 of the world's best young cyclists in the espoir class (under age 25), including several who will participate in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games and Tour de France.
The USA Cycling-sanctioned tour will begin in Philadelphia and cover approximately 500 miles over six days (June 24-29, 2008), with finish-line events in Valley Forge, Harrisburg, Bedford and the Laurel Highlands, and a race grand finale in Pittsburgh to help celebrate the southwestern Pennsylvania region's 250th anniversary. Riders will negotiate city streets as they sprint to the finish line competing for a $250,000 purse -- the world's largest-ever prize in this cycling class.
"Sponsoring this tour is a natural fit for American Eagle Outfitters, and reflects the company's commitment to the Pittsburgh region," said Susan McGalla, president and chief merchandising officer of American Eagle Outfitters and member of the Pittsburgh 250 Commission. "We're proud to be involved in a global sports event that our employees and customers can get excited about."
The tour's route will roughly follow the historic Forbes Road (along U.S. 30), which was created in 1758 when British General John Forbes and Colonel George Washington forged a trail through the challenging terrain of the Allegheny Mountains to the Forks of the Ohio during the French and Indian War, founding Bedford, Ligonier and Pittsburgh along the way.
"The route's combination of rolling hills and city streets make it the ideal setting for a race," said John Eustice, a Tour de France commentator and supporter of the Pennsylvania Lightning, a team of PA-based talented espoir cyclists expected to compete in the race. "It will truly test the abilities of every rider on the tour."
The Tour will also include free race-day events for spectators along the route in Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Reading, Hershey, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Bedford, Ligonier, Latrobe, Uniontown and Pittsburgh.
At the conclusion of each race stage, community health and wellness festivals hosted by Highmark Healthy High 5 will engage local communities in learning ways to adopt active living and healthy eating habits.
"Highmark Healthy High 5 is designed to promote healthy lifestyles among children and adolescents," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "The Tour provides an opportunity to engage children and families in the excitement of cycling and showcases the statewide opportunities for people to be outdoors, to be active and to have fun while doing it -- all important elements of leading a healthy life."
"The tour provides a unique opportunity to showcase Pennsylvania's historic cities and towns," said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for Tourism, Film and Economic Development Marketing. "We encourage people to spend part of their summer in 2008 visiting the communities along the race route and all that they have to offer."
To learn more about the American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, presented by Highmark Healthy High 5, visit www.tourofpa.com.
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