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Penske Arizona: 'Our club is looking forward to this event' thanks to our riders and help from our sponsors

It had to be six maybe seven years ago when Michael Famiglietti decided to get Penske employees in shape, so he started a cycling club. 

Why not, right? Have some fun on a bike and reap the benefits of health and fitness.

It started with 30 people, some who cycled regularly and others who had no idea what it would take. 

“We had people show up on all types of bikes, wearing sneakers and shorts,” Famiglietti said. 

Penske Club (Photo courtesy Michael Famiglietti)

Optimistic, Famiglietti told them they’d be riding in the annual Tour de Scottsdale.

“They told me, ‘you’re crazy, Michael,'” he recalled.

Crazy like a fox. That group lost 350 pounds – collectively - in the first year and, indeed, rode in the Tour de Scottsdale. 

“We spent $47,000 at two bike shops,” he said, and they rode in the event, kicking off what will once again happen again on April 13 when the Tour returns after a five-year hiatus.

Penske Arizona is back and is a major sponsor, raising money for the event. Penske will also provide one of its stores to host the VIP reception, where Ferraris, Maserati’s as well as other vehicles from their auto complex.

“That group of 30 started it – some are no longer (participating) - but we are now at 124 people as part of the cycling club,” he said, of which Penske helps support the club. 

They have ridden in other events, too, but Penske is near and dear to Tour de Scottsdale, and all its key principles, including the Mayor of Scottsdale. 

Michael’s wife, Jodi Stokes who owns and operates Jodistokesfitnes, will do the warmup before the 2,500 or so cyclist who take to the road on Saturday.

“This was a big event for us,” he said. 

And because it is big, Penske is back! Penske is a sponsor and pays for the cyclists in the club. Carfax is another big contributor to the cycling club, as well as several other sponsors that support the club. 

“We’re very involved with the charities, that's the whole premise of wanting to give back to the community,” he said. “It’s why I get sponsors to help us. Our riders don’t pay for anything.”

There will be 44 cyclists participating on April 13, including a cyclist from Buffalo, N.Y., who is coming in just for the event.

“It’s a great group of cyclists,” he said. “I’ve gotten to meet some great people through the years. We have a core of employees, friends and family members of employees who are part of it.

“It’s not just a group ride, but engagement to get employees healthy.”

He said not long ago a club’s cyclist won their age group, 

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Of course, he’ll be riding, too. 

“It’s a great group of people,” he said.

No doubt, a determined one. They’ve prepared with their weekly Sunday ride, where they ride about 33 miles. And some of the riders cycle on their own to stay fit during the ride. 

He waxed poetic on the ride coming back, and its importance, especially that its starting and finishing at WestWorld, in the heart of Scottsdale.

Penske will be providing sag vehicles – an Aston Martin, a Maserati and Volkswagen – and the pace car will be an Aston Martin DBX 707.

“It’s all going to be super cool,” he said. “I think leaving from the WestWorld and making it an event having two rides is great.

“Our club is looking forward to this event.”

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