Local volunteers, teamwork kept tour's Stage 1 rolling along
by LAINIE FRASER
Published - 05/18/16 - 04:05 PM | 7865 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The riders head over the Ingraham Street bridge at the beginning of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California in Mission Bay. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
The riders head over the Ingraham Street bridge at the beginning of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California in Mission Bay. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
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The riders head south on the Ingraham Street bridge near the end of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California in Mission Bay. / Photo by Patty Sammuli
The riders head south on the Ingraham Street bridge near the end of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California in Mission Bay. / Photo by Patty Sammuli
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Spectators cheer on the sprint finish of Stage 1 at Quivira Way in Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Spectators cheer on the sprint finish of Stage 1 at Quivira Way in Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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Fans line the Ingraham Street bridge as riders cross at the beginning of Stage 1 in Mission Bay. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
Fans line the Ingraham Street bridge as riders cross at the beginning of Stage 1 in Mission Bay. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
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Hundreds of volunteers across the county helped San Diego host Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California this past weekend, and, according to volunteer coordinator Julie Hamilton, their efforts made the event a complete success.

The race started in Mission Bay, went south through Imperial Beach, headed east and then eventually went back west through Pacific Beach.

It was the first time San Diego hosted the road race, and with a large amount of land to cover, San Diego police, the San Diego Tour of California Local Organizing Committee, and Amgen worked together to make the event happen with as few issues as possible. 

“Our success is measured by the community outreach and response, and I am proud to say this was an absolute success,” said Ed Clancy, chairman of the San Diego Tour of California Local Organizing Committee.

Through sign-up sheets outside popular businesses, print and online advertising and a variety of media commercials and fan engagement, more than 300 volunteers gathered to give their time on Sunday.

“It was an incredible weekend for San Diego and particularly the Mission Bay area,” said Kim Merrill, spokesperson for the San Diego Tour of California Local Organizing Committee.

Clancy says he is fortunate that Mayor Kevin Faulconer is as interested in sports as he is and says he cannot thank the community members – from all around the county – enough for doing their part.

“We are a grassroots system, and it was through community engagement events and a genuine interest by residents that we were able to pull this off,” Clancy said.

The volunteers arrived at 6 a.m. the morning of the race and set up barricades, closed lanes, facilitated traffic, escorted racers and went door to door handing out fliers and informing residents of the event.

“A lot of the volunteers simply love San Diego and love volunteering,” Clancy said. “They were given a behind the scenes look at an event, which a lot of people were excited about, but I think most of these people just love the community.”

Initial planning for the event began roughly two years ago. The route for the race and the roles for the volunteers were finalized in November of last year. The last two months prior to the race were described by Clancy as “madhouse crunch time” and were spent finalizing details and fully preparing the volunteers.

Part of this preparation took place at an orientation earlier in May that pressed safety as the number one concern for the Local Organizing Committee.

“The orientation was very important to us,” Clancy said. “It was all about safety, safety, safety. Safety of the volunteers, riders and spectators.”

Clancy, Hamilton and Merrill were impressed by the success of the event and hope to host the race again as was Faulconer who said he would like the race to be an annual event in San Diego.

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