Actor Patrick Dempsey has made some exciting announcements about his second annual charity cycling event.
Olympic bronze medalist and eight-time Tour de France competitor Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, California will take part in the second annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen, a non-competitive run, walk and cycling event benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing at Central Maine Medical Center. The event will take place Oct. 2 and 3 in Lewiston, Maine.
The 36-year-old Butte, Montana native joins five-time Olympian George Hincapie and this year’s top American Tour de France finisher, Chris Horner in a growing list of professional cyclists scheduled to participate.
Leipheimer’s breakthrough performance came four years after turning professional, a third place finish at his first Grand Tour, the 2001 Vuelta a España. He has four top-ten finishes in the Tour de France and a career-best third place finish in 2007. He placed 13th in the 2010 Tour riding for team RadioShack.
Leipheimer is the only three-time Amgen Tour of California winner, earning consecutive yellow jerseys in 2006, ‘07 and ’08. He turned in a bronze medal performance for the United States in the 2008 Olympic road time trials in Beijing, China. In August, 2010, Leipheimer collected his most recent victory in the Tour of Utah, dubbed "America’s Toughest Stage Race."
In 2009, Leipheimer founded the King Ridge Gran Fondo, an October benefit ride based in his hometown, attracting thousands of cyclists. He and his wife, Odessa Gunn, are animal welfare advocates currently working to establish an animal refuge. Leipheimer has auctioned off several of his Tour de France jerseys to support local charities.
The Dempsey Challenge offers a 5K and 10K run/walk on October 2 and cycling routes of 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles on October 3. All events will begin and end at Simard-Payne Police Memorial Park in Lewiston, Maine.
Dempsey Challenge weekend will include a family friendly Festival in the Park which plays host to a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, vendor fair and live entertainment. Runners and walkers will enjoy the 5 & 10K Café on Oct. 2 while cyclists are invited to take part in a participant lobster bake the following day. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk will be part of the closing ceremonies on Oct. 3.
Participants are encouraged to create or join teams through the Dempsey Challenge website to build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts. For more information, including participant, volunteer and fundraising information, log on to www.dempseychallenge.org.