Governor Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday, April 4, that AT&T will contribute $500,000 to become a major sponsor of the Tour de Georgia, which will be held the week of April 16-22.
“I am very pleased that our newest corporate citizen is continuing the long legacy of civic participation established by BellSouth and Cingular Wireless,” Governor Perdue said. “I have met with representatives from the new AT&T and remain convinced the company will continue to have a tremendous impact on our state's economy for decades to come.”
This year's Tour de Georgia marks the fifth year for the race, and the first year the race has been lengthened from six to seven days. The 2007 Tour de Georgia will cover 667 miles, making it the longest in the history of the event, and the longest professional stage race in the U.S. this year.
Previous winners include some of the major stars of the sport, including two previous winners who went on to capture the Tour de France title that same year, Lance Armstrong in 2004 and Floyd Landis in 2006.
“It is an honor to make this contribution to the Tour de Georgia, one of the great international cycling events,” said AT&T Georgia President Sylvia Anderson. “AT&T is committed to the state of Georgia and our communities. I believe this event will further showcase to the rest of the world our great state, our people and our culture. I want to thank Governor Perdue and the General Assembly for their leadership and commitment to economic development and tourism, which this great event will certainly contribute.” AT&T will be a Founding Partner of the Tour.
The Tour de Georgia (www.tourdegeorgia.com) is North America's premier, professional cycling event and rolling festival. Shining the world's spotlight on the state of Georgia each spring, this international event is an annual, multi-day, professional cycling stage race that draws the most elite cyclists and showcases one-of-a-kind towns and terrain of the Southeast. Sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and USA Cycling (USAC), the Tour de Georgia has a 2.Hors Classe rating, making the event one of the top-ranked stage races in the world.
The schedule for this year's race is as follows:
Stage 1 - Peachtree City to Macon - April 16
Stage 2 - Thomaston to Rome - April 17
Stage 3 - Rome to Chattanooga, Tenn. - April 18
Stage 4 - Chickamauga/Walker Co. to Lookout Mountain - April 19
Stage 5 - Dalton to Brasstown Bald Mtn./Towns Co. - April 20
Stage 6 - Lake Lanier Islands/Hall Co. to Stone Mountain Park/Dekalb Co. - April 21
Stage 7 - Atlanta (77-mile circuit race) - April 22
Since 2003 the Tour de Georgia has drawn 2.3 million spectators and generated direct economic impact to the Georgia economy that has totaled over $121 million. In 2006 alone, the Tour generated a direct economic impact of $26 million to the state economy.
The Tour de Georgia's primary charitable beneficiary is the Georgia Cancer Coalition. Proceeds from the Tour have totaled over $150,000 and go directly to the Georgia Cancer Coalition's Cancer Research Fund for research grants in the state.