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Cyclists take over Santa Barbara for Amgen Tour of California

World class cyclists will begin Stage Four of the Amgen Tour of California in Santa Barbara Wednesday morning.

“Santa Barbara has been a phenomenal over the years and we always look forward to coming back here,” said Kristin Klein, Amgen Tour of California president.

Cyclists from all over the globe will start the stage along the oceanfront Cabrillo Boulevard at 11:30 a.m. The start will be near Casa Las Palmas on 323 Cabrillo Boulevard.

This marks the eighth time and the fifth year in a row that the Santa Barbara region has hosted the seven-stage, 575-mile tour. The tour began May 14 in Sacramento and concludes May 20 in Pasadena.

“Back in 2005 when we started the process, it was like haven’t heard of you, who are you? Now when I call they say are you coming through? Are you coming to our city? So it’s a big different. A lot of recognition,” said Eric Smith, Amgen Course Director.

The Stage 4 part of the race, takes riders 100.3 miles from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita. Riders will cycle through neighboring Montecito and Carpinteria, up two short steep KOMs to Lake Casitas and into Ojai. Onwards and up the Dennison Grade to Santa Paula, they will have to take on the steep climb of Balcom Canyon before descending Grimes Canyon to a straight finish in Santa Clarita around 3:45 p.m.

“I did this race two years ago and it was pouring the whole time and I remember it coming down to a field sprint. My teammate is in the KOM jersery right now and so today we’re really just setting him up to get into the breakaway and get points,” said Daniel Eaton, a cyclist for the United Healthcare Pro team.

Fans lined around the starting line showing their support for their favorite cyclists.

“It’s the biggest race in America and it’s like going to the Tour de France, but a lot cheaper. We get to see all of our favorite and we’re hoping to see some of them today. We’re excited,” said Michael and Sheila Hale from Oregon.

Click here to view a map of the route.

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