Professional cyclists from around the world are already making their way through California, as stage one of the eight-day Amgen Tour of California kicked off to the roaring cheer of cycling fans in Nevada City on Sunday morning. In an exciting sprint to the finish, per Amgen organizers AEG Sports, cyclist Mark Cavendish of Team HTC-Columbia was first to complete the 104-mile course to Sacramento, making for his third stage win in the history of the race, and beating out nine past world champions, 11 current national champions and six Olympic medalists to do so. According to AEG Sports President Andrew Messick, “In only one day, the 2010 Amgen Tour of California has already exceeded our expectations with regard to fans, host cities and overall enthusiasm. We’ve already seen an amazing degree of competition from these world-class cyclists and we’re looking forward to seeing how the race unfolds.” Today’s stage two portion of the race started in Davis, and cyclists will ride 109 miles to Santa Rosa. By Friday, this world-class competition will cycle into Big Bear for the event’s first-ever mountaintop finish, on stage six from Palmdale to Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake. Local organizers for the Big Bear Climb suggest that crowds here in the Big Bear Valley could be comparable to a Saturday Fourth of July. For specifics on activities surround the May 21 competition here in the Big Bear Valley, as well as details on temporary road closures, check out KBHR’s Spectators’ Guide to Enjoying the Amgen Tour of California in Big Bear; there is also a tab to this posting at the top right of our home page.

A beaming Mark Cavendish takes the day, as he wins Sunday's stage one competition of the Amgen Tour of California on behalf of HTC-Columbia. Cavendish and the rest of the internationally acclaimed professional cyclists will be in Big Bear this Friday, May 21!