At least 16 teams of eight riders will begin the trek through 106 miles of San Diego’s diverse terrain with thousands of spectators vying for the ideal place to watch them start the race.
This is North America’s largest cycling event. Stage 1 begins at Mission Bay and goes through Balboa Park, downtown, Imperial Beach and other San Diego neighborhoods before returning west on Garnet Avenue to finish in Mission Bay about 3:40 p.m. Last year, the tour was broadcast in more than 200 countries as world-class riders cruised through the course.
Here are some of the best spots to watch the cyclists spin by as they begin the weeklong 800-mile race.
This free lifestyle festival is open to the public and will be staged at the race's finish line at 1500 Quivira Way, near Marina Village from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This daylong viewing spot will host entertainment and fun for the whole family with more than 40 exhibitors, various local bands providing music, booths for cancer and cardiovascular awareness education, cycling-themed products and demos, family activities and a Michelob Ultra beer garden with outdoor video screens. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend. Plan on arriving by 12:30 p.m.
This special spot, at Civita Life Mission Valley from 1 to 4 p.m., was created for military families; however it’s also free and open to the public. In fact, it’s San Diego’s version of the Tour de France Dutch Corner.
“For us to replicate the feeling of international racing, we have the Veteran’s Corner. (Riders) go right down Friars Road in front of the property,” said Ed Clancy, chairman of the Amgen Tour of California – San Diego Local Organizing Committee.
There will be live music, food trucks and children’s games including a bounce house along with TVs streaming the race. Plus, this location is on the actual race course – you can watch the riders breeze by live.
The Lot La Jolla
The Lot in La Jolla will have a free block-party type atmosphere for watching the race from 1 to 4 p.m. There will even be a spin class while the race is under way so one can feel motivated. Expect food and drink specials along with some Amgen Tour of California swag-bag giveaways.
There are other viewing locations throughout the city as well, such as along Garnet Avenue and Ingraham Street in Pacific Beach. Visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com for more viewing spots and information.
It was a priority for Clancy to bring the race spotlight to San Diego.
“We were looking for something better and bolder… it’s important to bridge the gap between international teams and our community,” he said. “Knowing we have such a strong and healthy living community, we wanted to engage communities both on the race route and off the route with viewing locations,” he said.
If you’re looking for a way to get involved in the sport of cycling, Clancy suggests you visit velonews.competitor.com. “If we can (influence) a family member to ride a bike, we’re succeeding.”