Amgen Tour of California add to Breakaway from Cancer program

By Kirsten Frattini from Asheville, NC | Friday, May 13, 2011 4.00pm

The Amgen Tour of California’s awareness program, Breakaway from Cancer, expands its presence during this year’s 8-stage race by hosting the Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider award for the pros, and introduces ‘Breakaway Mile’ walks held over portions of five of the event’s stages.

The 2011 event will also give cycling enthusiasts a chance to support the cause by registering to ride the ‘queen’ stage seven with the inaugural L'Etape du California on Sunday, 21 May.

The L’Etape ride is presented by Specialized Bicycles and offers up a 121km route ending at the top of a 30km ascent up Glendora Mountain Rd on Mt Baldy. The event will be chip timed and will include and King (and Queen) of the Mountain competition. Roughly 2,000 are expected to attend the ride whereby a percentage of the entry fees will go to Breakaway from Cancer.

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Breakaway from Cancer’s five Breakaway Mile walking events start on stage 1 in North Lake Tahoe on 15 May and run intermittently during the race to the final event, which will take place during stage 8 in Thousand Oaks on 22 May. Amgen says roughly 150 people have registered to walk during each event. According to Leanne Madison, with corporate communications at Amgen, Inc., the Breakaway Mile is a walk to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide and will end at the Amgen Tour of California finish line in five cities prior to the day’s finish of the professional race. 

The Breakaway Mile shines the spotlight on one special local person, a ‘Breakaway from Cancer Champion’, who has made a positive impact and acted as an inspiration for those affected by cancer. Patients with cancer, survivors, caregivers and advocates for those affected by cancer are invited to participate. Each Breakaway Mile also recognizes an Amgen scientist who plays a crucial role in developing breakthrough medicines. “The Breakaway Mile is part of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative, which represents a partnership between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations to raise awareness of the broad range of support services available to patients and caregivers, from prevention through survivorship,” Madison said.

Amgen founded Breakaway from Cancer in 2005 with the goal of raising awareness and resources for education, prevention, advocacy, as well as care and support for cancer patients. Breakaway from Cancer partnered with four nonprofit organizations that include Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship.

“Amgen is proud of our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California,” said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager of Amgen Oncology. “Just as in cycling where it takes a team working together to win, Amgen founded Breakaway from Cancer with the belief that it takes a team to beat cancer. Breakaway from Cancer is dedicated to increasing awareness of the resources that are available to those affected by cancer from prevention through survivorship.”

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