Olympic bronze medalist, nine-time Tour de France competitor, and three-time Amgen Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, California has confirmed that he will return to appear in his third straight Dempsey Challenge.
The non-competitive run, walk and cycling event presented by Amgen and benefiting the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center will take place Oct. 13 and 14 in Lewiston.
Leipheimer, 38, rides for Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step and has supported the Dempsey Challenge since his first visit in 2010. He is an active participant in the weekend events, joining actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey in the sponsor dinner, private ride, press conference and Champions for Hope celebration. He also rides alongside Dempsey on the 50-mile route capped with a traditional Maine lobster dinner.
Leipheimer has four top-10 finishes in the Tour de France, including a career-best third place finish in 2007. He is the only three-time Amgen Tour of California winner, earning consecutive yellow jerseys in 2007, ’08 and ’09. He turned in a bronze medal performance for the United States in the 2008 Olympic road time trials in Beijing, China and collected his most recent victory in the 2012 Tour de San Luis in Argentina.
In 2009, Leipheimer founded Levi’s GranFondo, an annual benefit ride based in his hometown which aims to improve quality of life by supporting cancer research, animal welfare and cycling infrastructure. Like the Dempsey Challenge, the GranFondo encourages youth participation and fundraising. For the second straight year, Dempsey and Leipheimer will fly their top youth fundraisers across the country to participate in each other’s event.
The Dempsey Challenge offers a 5K and 10K run/walk on October 13 and cycling routes of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles on October 14. All events will begin and end at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. The weekend will include a family-friendly Festival in the Park that will play host to a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, vendor fair and live entertainment.
Runners and walkers will enjoy the 5 & 10K Café on Oct. 13, and cyclists are invited to take part in a participant lobster bake the following day. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk highlights the weekend festivities.
To build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts, participants are encouraged to create or join teams through the Dempsey Challenge website. For more information, including participant, volunteer and fundraising information, log on to www.dempseychallenge.org.