Sacramento chosen to kick off 2014 Amgen bike race

Officials with the 2014 Amgen Tour of California and Sacramento tourism officials announced Tuesday that the eight-day race will start May 11 in front of the Capitol.

“We are very excited to welcome the Amgen Tour of California back to Sacramento,” said Steve Hammond, president of the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau. “While this event brings a signficant and measureable economic impact to the region, it also offers a tremendous marketing and exposure opportunity for Sacramento.”

Officials said the event would bolster the local economy by $8.4 million. It’s expected to generate 2,790 nights of hotel bookings.

Officials from the Sacramento Sports Commission, the city of Sacramento and AEG are holding a press conference at 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of K and 11th streets to discuss the tour’s return to the California capital.

For the past two years, Sacramento was bypassed on the Tour de France-style cycling road race, which features some of the top bicyclists in the world.

The race had included the Sacramento area in five of its first six years, and had contributed to region’s economy. In 2011, some 50,000 fans attended the race, generating an estimated $3.7 million in hotel and restaurant business.

Monday, to draw attention to the press conference, Sacramento professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez will ride from Folsom to Sacramento. He will start his ride at the Rainbow Bridge in Folsom, and be joined by Folsom cyclists at the end of the American River Bike Trail in Sacramento.