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Local News

Amgen Releases Tour Route; Santa Barbara to Host Leg of Cycling Road Race

Competitors will start and finish a leg of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California road cycling race in Santa Barbara, which last occurred during the event’s inaugural year in 2006.

Officials for the race announced on Tuesday the exact route and times for the race, featuring 12 host cities.

The race, which will take professional cyclists on a 750-mile trek across California on May 12-19, will stop midway in Santa Barbara for the first time since 2008. Officials announced the host cities last November.

The route will run south to north this year — the first time in its eight-year history — and in stages, beginning in Escondido, according to Amgen’s website.

With this week’s announcement, locals could see participating Olympic medalists, world champions and Tour de France competitors traveling through the Santa Barbara area May 15-16.

Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita are the only two host cities to boast both a start and finish.

The city will be included in Stage 4, when cyclists will travel 84.7 miles from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara and sprint to a finish on Cabrillo Boulevard in front of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort on May 15.

Stage 5 will begin the following day at 11 a.m. in the same location along the beach.

Racers will start the 116.4-mile trek by heading west on Cabrillo in a parade-like formation before reaching Shoreline Drive, traveling on Cliff Drive, Las Positas Road, Modoc Road, Hollister Avenue and Highway 154, according to directions provided by the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.

The stage will pass through Los Olivos, Orcutt, Guadalupe and Arroyo Grande and end in Avila Beach.

“Cabrillo Boulevard is the perfect backdrop for an exciting finish and start for both riders and spectators,” Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “I am delighted to see that the race will be showcasing our majestic coastline.”

According to the Conference & Visitors Bureau, Santa Barbara will also be host to the “Breakaway Mile” on May 15, a celebratory one-mile walk across the finish line of the tour that’s part of Amgen’s “Breakaway from Cancer” national initiative.

“With the race coming to town, we will see a direct economic impact in the number of rooms for both participants and spectators, as well as long-term PR exposure worldwide,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, CEO of the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.

Click here for full route information.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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