Good news for U.S. cycling fans, although we haven’t yet received an answer as to how many years “multi-year” means, at least for 2011 and presumably 2012, we’ll be able to relax to Phil Liggett’s soothing voice as our eyes are glazed over by HD cycling coverage. Here’s the important bits and coverage schedule for 2011:
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: VERSUS and AEG today announced a multi-year agreement to continue televising AEG’s Amgen Tour of California road race, the premier U.S.-based cycling event that features the world’s top professional cyclists. VERSUS will provide live HD coverage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, which takes place from May 15-22, including all the exciting finish-line sprints and the first-ever mountain top stage finish with the ascent up Mt. Baldy. Additionally, the network will air highlights of the stages each night during the eight-day competition at 11 p.m. ET.
Stages for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California:
• Stage 1: Sunday, May 15 – South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort
• Stage 2: Monday, May 16 – North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley to Sacramento
• Stage 3: Tuesday, May 17 – Auburn to Modesto
• Stage 4: Wednesday, May 18 – Livermore to San Jose
• Stage 5: Thursday, May 19 – Seaside to Paso Robles
• Stage 6: Friday, May 20 – Solvang Individual Time Trial
• Stage 7: Saturday, May 21 – Claremont to Mt. Baldy
• Stage 8: Sunday, May 22 – Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks
Stage map and the rest of the press release fluff is after the break…
THE REST OF THE PRESS RELEASE: “VERSUS’ commitment to cycling is stronger than ever and we look forward to continuing our coverage of the largest road race in America,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. “We are excited to broadcast this epic event for the fifth straight year and super-serve cycling fans the same way we do with all our properties.”
Since VERSUS started airing coverage of the Amgen Tour of California in 2007, the network has seen average viewership growth of 46 percent. Last year’s race saw the number of viewers tuning in to the network’s daily coverage double from 2007 (3 million vs. 1.5 million).
“We are delighted to be partnering with VERSUS on the Amgen Tour of California,” said Andrew Messick, President of AEG Sports. “VERSUS’ skill, experience and passion for both cycling and the Amgen Tour of California makes them the perfect partner as we continue to make our race one of the most important in the world.”
Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling, will once again call all the race action in the Golden State with Bob Roll returning as field reporter. Online, VERSUS.com will continue to be the premier destination for cycling fans throughout the entire competition with expert predictions from Phil, Paul and Bob along with daily standings and results, video recaps of each stage, interactive MapMyRide stage maps as well as community engagement features such as fan forums and live chats with VERSUS announcers.
For further information on the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com