Governor Rendell announced yesterday that the American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, a professional cycling race that will begin in Philadelphia and end in Pittsburgh, will take place next June.

The Tour de France-style race, presented by Highmark Healthy High 5, will feature 120 of the world's best cyclists in the espoir class (under age 25), including several who will participate in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games and Tour de France. The racers will compete for a $250,000 purse – the world's largest-ever prize in that cycling class.

The USA Cycling-sanctioned event will begin in Philly and cover approximately 500 miles over 6 days (June 24-29, 2008), with finish-line events in Valley Forge, Harrisburg, Bedford and the Laurel Highlands, and a race grand finale in Pittsburgh to help celebrate the southwestern Pennsylvania region's 250th anniversary. *