Stage 8: A finish to remember

Chris Horner (USA) of Team RadioShack crossed the finish line of the last stage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California in Westlake Village with an overall time of 23 hours, 46 minutes and 41 seconds, capturing the Amgen Race Leader Jersey and solidifying his place at the top of the podium. “It feels fantastic to be the winner of the Amgen Tour of California,” said Horner, who at 39 marks the oldest winner in the six year history of the event. “I have competed in this race since its inception and I have helped Levi (Leipheimer) win it many times. As soon as they added the summit finishes, I made it one of my personal goals to finish high in the race. Team RadioShack came in with a great squad this year. We had some great help, and the crowds throughout the race have just been amazing.”

to the race finish, Thousand Oaks cancer survivor Reine Wiley was honored and celebrated at the final Breakaway Mile, a special one-mile walk that crosses the finish line to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide. Wiley’s diagnosis was revealed shortly before last year’s Tour of California and she reached out to the 2010 Thousand Oaks Breakaway from Cancer champion, Steve Bartolucci, for guidance. One year later, Bartolucci credits Wiley as an inspiration. Over the past year she has demonstrated a strong will to fight the disease and commitment to cycling, even while she’s undergoing treatment.

Wiley was joined by approximately 150 community members for the Breakaway Mile – cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and advocates – including CSC staff and members from The Wellness Community – Valley Ventura, Andy & Dotty Leven (CSC San Francisco East Bay) and Sharishta Shourie (CSC West LA). Also joining today’s Breakaway Mile was actor and patient advocate, Patrick Dempsey, who, together with his sister Mary, founded the Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, ME in honor of their mother, an ovarian cancer survivor. This Breakaway Mile was a fantastic end to a week filled with inspiring stories and great memories.

Once again, we offer many thanks to our California affiliates and their amazing volunteers who supported the work of CSC and Breakaway from Cancer from Lake Tahoe to Thousand Oaks. We couldn’t have done it without you! And even greater thanks to the cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates who introduced themselves along the way – CSC, Amgen and all of the BFC partners are motivated by your stories of strength and will continue to work together to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone!

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