The Amgen Tour of California cycling race has been canceled for 2020, officials announced Tuesday.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports, said in a statement.
“While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race. This new reality has forced us to re-evaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021.”
The Amgen tour has become one of the state’s largest annual sporting events, contributing more than $3.5 billion to the state’s economy, officials said. Each year since 2006, the race has showcased some of the best-known and most-decorated international cyclists, including several world, Olympic and national champions.
The event also carries the distinction of being the only U.S.-based event that has both its men’s and women’s races listed on the UCI WorldTour calendar, while being the only event of its kind that produces men’s and women’s stage races that offer equal prize money.
“On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes,” said Bob Stapleton, chairman of USA Cycling. “We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”
The race has also been a popular local attraction, running through Santa Barbara County on several occasions over the event’s 14 years. Both Santa Barbara and Solvang have served as host cities.
The men’s races have included decorated cyclists such as Tour de France General Classification Winners Egan Bernal and Bradley Wiggins, and Tour de France Stage Winners George Bennett, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Peter Sagan and Tejay van Garderen. Ten-time stage winner Mark Cavendish has won 30 stages at the Tour de France – with both feats ranked second all-time for the respective races.
The women’s races have included three-time Olympic gold medal winner Kristin Armstrong, as well as current race champion, Olympic gold medalist and world champion Anna van der Breggen. The women’s races have also featured Olympic silver medalist Chloe Dygert and 26-year-old Coryn Rivera, who hold 72 national titles.
“I would like to sincerely thank the teams, the cyclists, sponsors, volunteers, elected officials, host cities, and all of the fans that helped make the Amgen Tour of California ‘Americas Greatest Race,’ ” Ms. Klein said. “Most of all, I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of my team who have tirelessly worked alongside me, each and every year, to develop the renowned event. I also would like to thank our governing body, USA Cycling, UCI and Amaury Sport Organisation for their continued support.
“We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Amgen for their incredible support and partnership from day one,” she added. “We are proud to have stood together with them to create this amazing legacy.”