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Tour de 'Toona part of Prestige Tour in 2005

America's International Tour de 'Toona stage race, scheduled for July 24-31 in various locations near Altoona, PA, will continue to be the US anchor leg of the Women's Prestige Tour. The Prestige is a four race series for women's teams that will include three U.S. races and a finale in Bermuda. The Tour de 'Toona will mark the penultimate round in the series.

"The International Tour de 'Toona is elated to continue our participation in this series, not only for its appeal to participants, but also because it will increase its $4 million impact on the local economy," said Race Promoter Rick Geist. "The quality of the teams involved in The Prestige series is absolutely the finest in women's cycling. Each has their own following of enthusiasts who travel to see them race. For local spectators, it's a chance to see world class athletes of a calibre they would normally see only on broadcast network television or international cable sports networks, up close and personal."

"This is a great example of how events that directly generate tourism attraction can boost the local economy," Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger said last year when the Tour's affiliation with the Prestige series was first announced. "It is a demonstrable success story that is evident throughout Blair County every year."

In addition to The International Tour de 'Toona and the culminating Bermuda event, the Prestige series will include the Redlands Bicycle Classic, California, and the Nature Valley Grand Prix, in Minnesota.

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