William Martel wins Palmdale’s VIP Amgen Tour of California experience

PALMDALE – Palmdale resident William Martel was the grand prize winner in the City of Palmdale’s Amgen Tour of California VIP prize package for two in celebration of the race coming to Palmdale on Friday, May 18.

Martel won VIP hospitality passes at the Stage 6 Start at Marie Kerr Park, seats in an Amgen VIP Caravan Race Car that will travel the route from Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, and VIP finish line experiences in Big Bear, which include hospitality passes, and green room area and press conference access.

William and Susy Martel of Palmdale will be riding in style on Friday, May 18 as winners of the City of Palmdale's VIP Amgen Tour of California Experience.

“I’m very excited about this,” Martel said. “I was excited to see that the Amgen Tour of California was coming to Palmdale, and now this! I’m very fortunate to have won.”

The packaged is valued at over $4,000.

“Our thanks go out to everyone who entered the VIP Car Ride contest, and our congratulations to William for winning an amazing prize,” said Palmdale’s Sponsorship and Marketing Specialist Stella Knight. “He will be on top of, in the middle of, and at both ends of the action as he will have the pleasure of seeing both the start and finish of an international race filled with Olympic and World Champion athletes.”

Martel’s VIP car will follow the peloton and afford him a close-up view of the riders in a way that only few have done before. Arriving ahead of the cyclists, he will watch them race to the finish line at Big Bear from the VIP Hospitality Suite featuring complimentary hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Martel will also have the opportunity to finish his day with a media compound tour, green room access to watch the awards presentation backstage, and press conference access.

The race in Palmdale on May 18 will begin at Marie Kerr Park. The festival begins at 8:30 a.m. and the race will start with the firing of the official start gun at 10:25 a.m.

In between, visitors will enjoy the festival area, rider sign-in with autograph opportunities in fan favorite Autograph Alley, and the race ceremonies.

Riders will leave Marie Kerr Park in a neutral start and head east on Rancho Vista Blvd., a flat straightaway past the heart of Palmdale’s busy retail center and Antelope Valley Mall, under the 14 Freeway, and past iconic Joshua trees in springtime bloom, until taking a hard right onto historic Sierra Highway, where the race begins in earnest.

Formerly the El Camino Sierra Trail used by prospectors and adventurers in the 19th century, Sierra Highway is part of Historic Route 6. Riders will race along this nostalgic thoroughfare, passing Palmdale’s state-of-the-art Transportation Center, beautiful desert landscape, and picturesque Lake Palmdale at 2,980 feet above sea level before turning onto Pearblossom Hwy. As the riders veer left onto Angeles Forest Hwy. from Pearblossom Hwy., they will begin their arduous ascent into the San Gabriel Mountains, the first of two grueling uphill climbs of the day. This stage of the race is 115+ miles long.

The Palmdale Stage Start of the Amgen Tour of California is sponsored by Palmdale Regional Medical Center, Xerox State & Local Solutions, The Energy Coalition, Senior Systems Technology, Inc., Double D Cupcakes, High Desert Broadcasting, American Medical Response, Subway, Jacob Hefter Foundation, Burger King, Waste Management, Antelope Valley Florist, Meyers | Nave and Richards, Watson & Gershon.

The 13 Host Cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California include:

  • Stage 1: Sunday, May 13 – Santa Rosa
  • Stage 2: Monday, May 14 – San Francisco to Santa Cruz County
  • Stage 3: Tuesday, May 15 – San Jose to Livermore
  • Stage 4: Wednesday, May 16 – Sonora (new for 2012) to Clovis
  • Stage 5: Thursday, May 17 – Bakersfield (Individual Time Trial)
  • Stage 6: Friday, May 18 – Palmdale to Big Bear Lake
  • Stage 7: Saturday, May 19 – Ontario (new for 2012) to Mt. Baldy
  • Stage 8: Sunday, May 20 – Los Angeles/L.A. LIVE

For further information on the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, and to view the 2012 Amgen Tour of California Host Cities video, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale.)