San Jose Cycling Classic set for February

"Season of cycling" to promote San Jose Green Vision green mobility

The San Jose Cycling Classic will be held February 14, 2009 throughout San Jose, California, in conjunction with the returning Amgen Tour of California and the Livestrong Challenge. The multi-pronged event will encompass professional, amateur and community cycling activities, including a competitive time trial race, a criterium, a recreational ride and a CEO Challenge.

It is expected to attract more than 1,000 cycling athletes. "Cycling is an important form of alternative transportation, and San Jose's Green Vision puts San Jose on the path to being a cycling-friendly city," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. "The San Jose Cycling Classic lets the cyclists everywhere know that San Jose and the greater South Bay region is a one of the best places in the world to cycle, whether you're an amateur or a professional."

The San Jose Cycling Classic will kick off with the The King of the Mountain time trial and a CEO Challenge. The time trial is held on Sierra Road, a challenging hill that featured several times in the Tour of California. The climb is 3.7 miles long with an average gradient of 10 percent and a maximum of 18 percent. The San Jose Cycling Classic will also feature a 30-mile recreational ride which will start along the same route but will not include the challenging Sierra Road climb.

All rides will start with police motorcycles leading a rolling closure north and east of Downtown San Jose to the base of the Sierra Road climb. Cyclists on the King of the Mountain and CEO Challenge ride will then cross a timing pad to activate timing chips and begin their ascent. After topping Sierra Road, riders may complete the Sierra/Calaveras/Piedmont loop.

The next event is a criterium in downtown San Jose on a 1.4-kilometre course. There is an equal prize money of 5,000 dollars for top male and female professionals. All the action starts and finishes on Park Avenue near Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

San Jose will also kick off the Livestrong Challenge. In addition to San Jose, events will take place in Seattle (June 21), Philadelphia (Aug. 23) and Austin (Oct. 24-25).

The final event will be hosting the Tour of California stage 3 Start Tuesday, February 17, at Park and Almaden in Downtown San Jose. A host city for the fourth year in a row, San Jose will, for the first time, serve as a start city.

(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer)

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