Amgen Tour of California might miss Solvang

Chris Horner (RadioShack) races to the finish in Solvang.

Chris Horner (RadioShack) races to the finish in Solvang. (Image credit: Jon Devich/

The announcement of the host cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is expected in the coming weeks, but may not include the town of Solvang which hosted the race's time trial for several years.

The Santa Maria Times reported this week that the tiny Danish-themed town is stuggling under the burden of high costs to host the event, and said the all-volunteer local organising committee had asked the Solvang City Council not to apply to host the stage.

The City Council asked the city manager Brad Vidro to negotiate with organiser AEG to try to reduce the costs, but requirements for additional security and hotel rooms weren't offset by an offer to waive the requirement to host the riders.

Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson, who pushed to keep the bid alive, said, "I think they're asking for too much for what they're getting. I would rather pass next year if they can't make significant concessions."

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported yesterday that race organisers were refused a start in the Yosemite Valley after the National Parks Service decided that hosting the event would be in violation of rules banning for-profit events in national parks.

The situation is more optimistic in Santa Cruz, which is hoping to bring the race back after a one year absence. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that the local organising committee had raised $70,000 of the $200,000 needed in promised funds from California Giant Berry Farms, a supporter of cycling of all levels in the region, and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to bring the race back, and the LOC organiser Maura Noel toured several potential finish sites with race organisers, including Seacliff State Beach, UC Santa Cruz and Skypark in Scotts Valley.

AEG said it would announce the full list of host cities in mid- to late-October, but has already announced that the 2012 edition would begin in Santa Rosa.

AEG did not respond to Cyclingnews' requests for comment.

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