Patrick Dempsey and George Hincapie participate in Breakaway Charity Rides – Routes Part of AMGEN Tour of California

Tour of California

Press release just hit my inbox letting the world know that Patrick Dempsey and George Hincapie are participating in the Breakaway rides, sponsored by Specialized, that raise money for cancer.

The two rides will take place in April and will follow stages 8 and 2 respectively of the Amgen Tour of California 2010.

For dates and deets, check the website, or read on.

Press release follows:

LOS ANGELES (February 17, 2009) – Patrick Dempsey and George Hincapie today confirmed their participation in the ‘Breakaway Ride presented by Specialized,’ two cycling events held in conjunction with the upcoming 2010 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race set for May 16-23, 2010.  Held in April (one month prior to the 2010 Amgen Tour of California), the rides are open to the public and will serve to raise funds for Breakaway from Cancer®, the signature cancer support initiative of the Amgen Tour of California.  Breakaway from Cancer aims to raise awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention to education and patient care to advocacy and financial support.

Each ‘Breakaway Ride’ will give cycling enthusiasts and fans a chance to ride on the actual route of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California with three distances for each event to accommodate various skill and fitness levels (short, medium and long). The longest distance covers an entire stage of the Amgen Tour of California, the same as will be ridden by the pros.  Participants will be chip timed and supported, with a maximum of 3,500 riders per event.  Maps detailing the distances can be found on www.breakawayride.com.

The first Breakaway Ride will take place on Sunday, April 11 and will feature the Stage 8 route in the cities of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, the worldwide headquarter community of title sponsor Amgen.  Demonstrating his commitment to the cause and enthusiasm for cycling, television and film actor Patrick Dempsey will ride in this first event.  Dempsey, whose mom is a four-time ovarian cancer survivor, is an advocate for cancer support services. In 2008, he founded the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine.

“I am looking forward to reuniting with my friends from Amgen and Breakaway from Cancer to help raise awareness and funds for the non-profit cancer support organizations,” said Dempsey, who served as a spokesperson for Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative in 2007. “I am also excited about the opportunity to ride a piece of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California route together with fellow Southern California cycling enthusiasts!”

The second Breakaway Ride will take place on Sunday, April 25, and will feature the Stage 2 route from Davis to Santa Rosa. Four-time Amgen Tour of California competitor and Breakaway from Cancer supporter George Hincapie will attend this event.

“Nearly everyone is touched by cancer, including my family, and it’s important to know that you don’t have to fight cancer alone,” said Hincapie. “I joined Breakaway from Cancer in 2005 because people need to know that education, resources and support are available as they fight the disease.”

A portion of each rider’s entry fee will be donated to Breakaway from Cancer’s charitable partners – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.  Participants will have the opportunity to earn gifts and prizes by raising additional funds for Breakaway from Cancer partners via the ActiveGiving program on Active.com.  The most successful fundraisers will have the opportunity to meet and ride with Dempsey at the April 11 ride and with Hincapie on April 25. Other prize packages include exclusive VIP experiences at the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, Amgen Tour of California official race merchandise and other cycling-related items.  Additionally, the top fundraiser of each Breakaway Ride will receive a top-of-line Specialized S-Works Tarmac or Roubaix bike.

“These Breakaway Rides will provide amateur cyclists and community members the opportunity to ride the same route that the pros will experience only one month later in the Amgen Tour of California,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.  “The commitment and dedication shown by Patrick Dempsey and George Hincapie to Breakaway from Cancer is inspiring, and we look forward to their involvement.”

As the title sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California for the fifth consecutive year, Amgen will continue to leverage the race to raise awareness and support for people affected by cancer through its Breakaway from Cancer initiative.

“Amgen and its non-profit Breakaway from Cancer partners are pleased to have George Hincapie and Patrick Dempsey join us in supporting Breakaway from Cancer, which raises awareness of the free services available to people affected by cancer,” said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology.

Presenting sponsor of the Breakaway Ride, Specialized, will use this opportunity to further their philanthropic goals and bring better cycling experiences to even more people.

“We are really excited to partner with the Breakaway Ride to support Amgen’s cancer initiatives and to get cyclists out on their bikes.  Tying into the Amgen Tour of California and getting to ride the actual route is a unique opportunity for riders and ties into our goal to get people to ride more; more often,” said Ian Dewar, partnership manager for Specialized.

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