As The California Giant Foundation prepares for the fifth annual Tour de Fresh, support from inside and outside the industry continues to pour into the event to get more salad bars to schools across the country. Joining the team for a second year, eight-time Tour de France rider and Olympic Bronze Medalist Axel Merckx will be in attendance offering his expertise and support.
Accompanying Merckx and the rest of the riders is Alex Wassmann, the tour’s technical director, who will bring “ride guides” serving as trainers and advisors throughout the four day experience. Key ride guide will be Jesse Moore, a performance coach known for coaching top ten Tour de France finishers, Ironman triathletes and cross country skiers. He is currently a USA Cycling certified coach with over a decade of experience helping athletes reach their goals. Given that this year’s route includes tough terrain to provide the challenge that riders are looking for, Moore and Merckx’s years of cycling experience will be highly beneficial to the 2018 tour participants.
“I am eager to join the riders of Tour de Fresh for a second year,” said Axel Merckx, Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team Owner. “Seeing the passion that everyone involved in this event has for getting salad bars in more schools is a humbling experience that I am proud to be a part of.”
With the accolade of five successful years raising funds to get fresh fruits and vegetables in front of school-aged kids, The California Giant Foundation recognized the industry’s support and rider feedback by extending the ride to four days. The additional day offers cycling enthusiasts a challenge and more time for industry leaders to spend time with colleagues and beloved friends.
“We are excited for our fifth year for many reasons,” said Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms. “We love seeing how much support this event has gained since year one and can only see it continuing to grow. But more importantly, with the increase in support, we are increasing the salad bars that are being placed into schools which means that more kids have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Beginning in the stunning mountain ski resort of Kirkwood, Calif. near South Lake Tahoe, riders will experience a beautiful ride on day one in the sierras among the pines. While enduring uphill battles and summer heat, riders will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery through Jackson, Livermore, Mt. Hamilton, San Jose, Aptos and Monterey over the four-day span. Following the ride is a finish-line festival which will give sponsors an opportunity to feature their product samples and merchandise as well as celebrate alongside the riders.
“I am blown away by how much this event has grown over the past five years,” said Brock Nemecek, marketing manager, North America, for T&G Global Limited. “I’m grateful to have been a part of such a meaningful cause and can’t wait to celebrate five successful years with friends from the industry!”
Opportunities to join confirmed sponsors – Americold, And Now U Know, California Giant Berry Farms, CHEP, Church Brothers Farms, Crunch Pak,Coosemans Worldwide, DMA Solutions, EBX Logistics, Fight Like a Girl Foundation, Fruit Growers Supply, JAZZ Apple, Mann Packing, Mission Produce, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Pajaro Valley Fresh, Produce Marketing Association, Sakata Seed, Taylor Farms, Tanimura & Antle and Tsamma are now available.
About Tour de Fresh
Tour de Fresh, presented by The California Giant Foundation, is the first-of-its-kind, collaborative event that unites the most significant brands and influencers in the fresh produce industry for a four-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the Salad Bars to Schools campaign. In its first four years (2014-2017), Tour de Fresh placed more than 180 salad bars in schools across the country. Sponsors and participants alike strongly believe that providing healthy eating opportunities for school children should be a requirement, which keeps this event thriving year after year.
About Salad Bars to Schools
Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to increase salad bars in schools across the country so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Salad Bars to Schools supports former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. Salad Bars to Schools founding partners are: The United Fresh Start Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, the Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation. More information can be found online at www.saladbars2schools.org.