SOURCE: City of San Jose

January 18, 2007 19:58 ET

Cyclists Face Uphill Test at Inaugural San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride Feb. 17 to Benefit Santa Clara Schools' "Fit for Learning" Program

Event to Preview Most Challenging Segment of 2007 Amgen Tour of California and Raise Awareness for Childhood Fitness and Nutrition Issues

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 18, 2007 -- Hundreds of avid riders are expected to participate in the inaugural 25-mile San Jose King-of-the-Mountain bicycle ride February 17 in what promises to be a challenging preview of the toughest segment of the upcoming 2007 Amgen Tour of California.

At the same time, the event will highlight childhood nutrition issues and raise funds for the Santa Clara County Office of Education's "Fit for Learning" program that addresses the rising concerns of obesity in elementary school children.

The ride, which will begin at San Jose City Hall at 10 a.m., Saturday, February 17, is a pre-ride to the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, a Tour de France-style cycling road race in which 18 of the world's top professional cycling teams will compete along a demanding 650-mile course from San Jose to Long Beach, February 18-25.

The San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride will include the arduous, 3.7-mile Sierra Road climb, the most difficult of last year's Amgen Tour of California race. The Sierra Road climb will be on the route again when the professional riders compete in the third stage of this year's Amgen Tour, a 94.6-mile road race from Stockton to San Jose on Wednesday, Feb. 21, finishing at San Jose City Hall.

"The tortuous Sierra Road climb is a true test for the most seasoned professional," said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and co-chair of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California San Jose Local Organizing Committee. "The San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride allows cyclists to compare their time up the grueling Sierra Hill against the professional racers' as well as enjoy some friendly competition from other Bay Area riders."

Proceeds from the event will benefit Fit for Learning, an initiative that addresses the crisis of childhood obesity, encouraging physical activity and healthy nutrition among elementary school students in Santa Clara County.

The ride will start at 10 a.m., with police motorcycles leading a rolling closure north and east along the reverse Stage 3 Finish route from City Hall to the base of the Sierra Road climb. Cyclists then will cross a timing pad to activate timing chips and begin their ascent up Sierra Road -- a 1,830-foot climb, with an average gradient of 10 percent.

Riders also will have the opportunity to refuel at the summit and observe a press conference to further raise awareness about the Leadership Group's "Clean and Green" Alternative Energy Action Plan to curb greenhouse gases, reduce dependence on foreign oil and impact climate change throughout the region and beyond.

After summiting Sierra Road, riders may complete the Sierra/Calaveras/Piedmont loop and ride west along the Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Finish route to City Hall. Even though the ride officially ends at the Sierra Hill summit, riders are invited to continue along the official Stage 3 route back to City Hall.

The total ride is approximately 25-26 miles.

The cyclist with the fastest climb time will receive a limited edition official Amgen Tour of California Felt F75 bicycle on the podium at the Wednesday, February 21, Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 finish line at San Jose City Hall. Other category winners will also receive recognition during that time.

The King-of-the-Mountain Ride is being produced by the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development, the San Jose Sports Authority and Blue Wolf Events, a comprehensive event management and production company, specializing in cycling events.

Registration for the King-of-the-Mountain Ride is $100 with a portion of proceeds going to Fit for Learning charity and is limited to the first 300 registrants. Riders must be at least 18 or older. For more information and registration, please visit,

About Fit for Learning

Proceeds from the King-of-the-Mountain Ride will benefit Fit for Learning. Fit for Learning is a program provided by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) in cooperation with Healthy Silicon Valley that addresses the crisis of childhood obesity and is a multi-faceted initiative that will increase physical activity and encourage healthy nutrition among elementary school students in Santa Clara County. Fit for Learning addresses the environment at every level: the classroom, the school, the district and community. For more information, visit

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents 210 of Silicon Valley's most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly 250,000 local jobs, or one of every four private sector jobs in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit or call (408) 501-7864.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization that serves as the sports marketing agency for the City of San Jose. Since their inception in 1991, they have worked with community partners to bring more than 150 premier events and programs to the San Jose area. For more information, visit

About the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit,

About the City of San Jose

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit,

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Steven Brewster
    San Jose Office of Economic Development
    (408) 535-8168