Big Bear Valley, CA — It’s official as of today: the 2010 Amgen Tour of California will be making its way from Pasadena to Big Bear on Friday, May 21st. The route for this, stage 6 of the eight-day race covering California and including the world’s top professional cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie and George Hincapie, is the most challenging and is known as the queen stage. According to Andrew Mesick, president of race presenter AEG Sports, “The May timing of the 2010 edition of the Amgen Tour of California is going to allow us to visit some challenging new areas of California that previously were not possible due to the weather. The stage 6 route from Pasadena to Big Bear is the perfect example, with our first-ever mountain finish at a 7,000 foot elevation.”
Cyclists will begin their May 21 ride in front of Pasadena City Hall at 9:45am, and will ride 135 miles and climb more than 12,000 feet before reaching Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake in roughly the 3pm hour for the finish. The mountain portion of the route will include Highway 138 to Silverwood Lake before segueing onto Highway 18 above Crestline, through the Lake Arrowhead area, past Running Springs and along Arctic Circle to the Big Bear Dam, where riders will then take Highway 38 into Fawnskin, cross Stanfield Cutoff over Big Bear Lake, then take Sandalwood Drive (behind the Interlaken Center), Fox Farm Road, Garstin Drive, and then the final push, up Summit Boulevard to finish the race at Summit and Switzerland Drive.
The Tour of California is the largest cycling event in America, said to now be on par with the Tour de France, and it is expected that, given numbers from 2009’s fourth annual event, will reach an international audience of 3.5 billion. In a statement from County Supervisor Neil Derry, who this week appropriated $40,000 in funds to promote and stage the event, he said, “All eyes will be on San Bernardino County as we host the first mountaintop finish, and I am excited about the immediate economic impact and broader ability, to showcase our region as a great place to do business. Past host cities and surrounding regions have seen a noticeable impact in economic activity and we are hopeful to benefit from the same during these tough economic times.” In an effort to keep cycling enthusiasts and race fans in the Big Bear Valley through the weekend, local organizers will host the Tour de Big Bear on Saturday, May 22.
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