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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Prestigious International Bicycling Event Coming to Redwood City in April

Redwood City, CA - March 3, 2003 - The City of Redwood City is pleased to announce that stage one of the "2003 Sea Otter Classic Elite Road Stage Race" bicycling event is scheduled here for April 9, and will put Redwood City on the map of world-class bicycle racing events.

The Sea Otter Classic is in its 13th year, and is recognized as the premier cycling event in North America. It currently takes place in the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey and now, with the addition of a stage in Redwood City, this race promises to bring excitement and thrills to our community, raise the profile of Redwood City and our downtown area, and offer the bicyclists a demanding and professional racing course. Go to www.redwoodcity.org/seaotterclassic for additional course information.

The race begins at 9:00 am on Wednesday, April 9, in Downtown Redwood City on Broadway near Jefferson Avenue. Traveling up Jefferson, the racers will follow a ‘rolling closure' of police vehicles as they move up into the hills. The race will take these professional bicyclists on a challenging multi-lap nine-mile course in the Emerald Hills area. The racecourse includes parts of Alameda de las Pulgas, Harding Avenue, Canyon Road, Cordilleras Road, Lakeview Way, Hillcrest Way, Sunset Way, California Way, Emerald Hill Road, Farm Hill Boulevard, and McGarvey Avenue (map available). There will be special awards ceremonies at 11:15 am (women's) and 2:15 pm (men's) which will also take place downtown on the steps of the historic courthouse. News conferences at the Little Fox Theater will immediately follow each awards ceremony.

"This is a very special opportunity for the community of Redwood City," said Ed Everett, City Manager. "A world-class bicycling event like this recognizes that Redwood City is a vibrant and vital community, and I urge our residents to welcome the event with open arms."

Residents are of course urged to come out and cheer on the bicyclists as they go by. Those residents along the racecourse are asked for their patience and understanding as the estimated 200 professional bicyclists make their way through the residential areas. The City will be distributing flyers and placing signage along the route to further inform the residents, and ask that they please do not park on their streets that morning, and to use extra caution if they will be driving in the area.

There will be traffic impacts during portions of the race, particularly at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and El Camino Real, where the traffic will be stopped for two-to-four very short periods of time between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to allow the bicyclists to cross safely. Drivers on El Camino who happen to be at the intersection of Jefferson and El Camino as the race passes through can tell their kids and grandkids that they were there at the very first Redwood City stage of the Sea Otter Classic Elite Road Circuit Race. Motorists' patience is appreciated during these short closures of El Camino Real, and during the ‘rolling closure' traffic stops elsewhere on the racecourse, which will maximize safety of the bicyclists and the public. If possible, motorists should avoid the race area during these times, to keep any inconvenience to a minimum.

Spectators are welcome and urged to gather downtown for the start and finish of the race, or at designated spectator areas along the course which will be announced as the race date approaches. For those who want to really get in on the fun, volunteer course marshals are needed for this exciting race. Course marshals have the "best seats in the house" and receive lunch and a cool tee shirt from Sea Otter. Anyone interested in volunteering to help out is urged to contact Sammarye Lewis, coordinator of volunteers, at sammarye@seaotterclassic.com or 408-297-4192.

"Redwood City has been my home for 40 years and I am thrilled to share my passion for the sport of cycling with all my neighbors and friends," said Rick Sutton, the organizer of the race. "Bike riding is a great activity, whether it's a family spin for ice cream or world-class racing. I invite everyone to join us for this celebration of sport on April 9th."

This race is an extension of the Sea Otter Classic into the San Francisco Peninsula. By adding days and miles to the ‘front end' of the four-day Monterey festival, a large group of professional international cyclists and their support groups will travel around the state of California, finishing in Monterey. Ultimately, the goal of the organizers of the event, Sea Otter Classic LLC, is to have a 20-day statewide race in California similar to the Tour de France.

There are other great activities taking place as part of Redwood City's portion of the Sea Otter Classic, including a Sea Otter Cycling Fantasy Camp, a BMX and Trials bike demonstration, visits to local schools with pro rider demonstrations, safe riding tips, and more, and an Opening Night Gala the evening before the race at the Fox Theater. More details will be forthcoming.

The "13th Annual Sea Otter Classic, Powered by SRAM," held April 9-13, 2003, culminates at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey, California. Athletes are invited to visit www.seaotterclassic.com  or call 530.661.9500 for complete race and festival information. Press inquiries should be directed to Jenn Ingersoll at 917.693.4894 or jingersoll@seaotterclassic.com .The City of Redwood City is proud to host the first stage of this race, and welcomes Sea Otter's experience and expertise to make Redwood City's stage a great addition to this prestigious event.

Visit Redwood City's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Redwood City news releases are also available online, at www.redwoodcity.org/news.

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Contacts:
Susan Moeller
Downtown Development Manager
650-780-7204

Jenn Ingersoll
Sea Otter Classic PR Director
917-693-4894



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