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Bike Race Rolls Into Town; Prepare for Road Closures

The Amgen Tour of California will race through Santa Cruz County on Monday, finishing at Cabrillo College.

The Amgen Tour of Californiawill come to Santa Cruz County on Monday. 

Professional cyclists from across the world kicked off this year's Amgen Tour of California in the Bay Area on Sunday. The first leg started in Santa Rosa. The race will head through San Francisco, the Peninsula, Santa Cruz County,
San Jose, Danville and Walnut Creek in the next two days.

Of the nearly 100 cities statewide that applied to host a portion of the eight-stage race this year, Bay Area cites were chosen as the backdrop for more than a third of the event, according to race organizers.

It's the third time in four years . This year, the Tour of California finishes in front of Cabrillo College, on Soquel Drive in Aptos, after riders climb through the Santa Cruz Mountains in .

Route details and closure locations can be found at the official Tour of California website.

Although this year's Tour-de-France-style race will feature many of the same cities to host the event over the past six years, new challenges await the 16 pro cycling teams taking part this year, tour organizers said.

"Especially this year, this is a route that is going to challenge the riders up until the finish," said Kristin Bachochin, executive director and senior vice president of AEG Sports, which presents the tour. "Nobody wants a race that's decided in the early stages."

The race will cover nearly 750 miles of California terrain from May 13-20. This year’s edition will feature three of the world’s top-four cyclists; there are 128 cyclists in the competition.

Reminders for race day from the California Highway Patrol:

  • Students and local residents are encouraged to take a shuttle, public transport, or other form of transportation to ease congestion. Shuttle maps and times are available at the official web site.
  • All North County and Mid County residents are advised to familiarize themselves with the race route and times regardless of their interest in the event. The impact to traffic will be significant but bearable if planned for ahead of time. 
  • Closure times listed on the official web site are approximations only and the actual closure time will be determined by the location of the approaching race. If the race is delayed, the closures will be later. If the race is unusually fast, the closures may be earlier. Closures will remain in place until the race has passed and officers have determined it is safe to reopen the roadway. Private driveways and side roads will be closed as well. 
  • Spectators who wish to view more than one portion of the race are advised to obey all traffic laws and drive safely. Officers will continue to enforce all laws.
  • A large influx of vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, media and support vehicles are expected throughout the day on Santa Cruz roadways.  Please use all caution and courtesy. 

CHP officers will be escorting the race, establishing and maintaining closures, and continuing to perform normal patrol functions. The funding for these officers, including some who will come in from out of the area, is paid for by the race coordinators and will not affect staffing levels for regular service, the CHP noted in a press release.

—Bay City News contributed to this report.

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