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2012 Tour Of California Won’t Include Yosemite Leg

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FRESNO (AP) — The Amgen bicycle race through California set for next year won’t be including a dramatic backdrop of Yosemite National Park’s famous granite icons.

National Park Service officials on Friday denied a request by the bicycle tour to have one leg of the race start in Yosemite Valley.

Park officials in Washington, D.C. felt that having 144 bicyclists, support teams and members of the media crowd the park’s roads would be a violation of regulations against for-profit races in national parks.

Amgen officials are in the planning stages for the multi-stage race set for May 2012. California’s dramatic scenery plays a co-starring role with the world-class racers during the event.

Amgen officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment about the decision.

While the routes for the race have not been announced, it is known it will start in Santa Rosa, the home of three-time champion Levi Leipheimer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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