It was just a week ago that race officials for the Amgen Tour of California announced that the start of stage 6 in the eight-day cycling competition would not start from Pasadena on May 21 for the 135-mile ride to Big Bear, due to road closures and safety issues along the Angeles Crest Highway, which has been damaged by fires and subsequent mudslides. However, with just five weeks before the internationally recognized cycling race begins, event organizers AEG Sports have announced that stage 6 will now start from the City of Palmdale, in the Antelope Valley of Los Angeles. AEG President Andrew Messick says, “After assessing the options for re-routing Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California, we determined that Palmdale would be the perfect start city for the race, allowing us to feature much of the same challenging terrain in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains.” Stage 6 still promises to be the most challenging on the 800-mile course that goes from Nevada City to Thousand Oaks, as on the ride from Palmdale to Big Bear, cyclists will tackle more than 12,000 feet of climbing; within the San Bernardino mountains, the race course includes Highway 138, Highway 18 (the front way and along the Rim of the World Highway), and, once in the Big Bear Valley, Highway 38 along the North Shore through Fawnskin, before wrapping into Big Bear Lake at Stanfield Cutoff, and then along Big Bear Boulevard, Sandalwood Drive, Fox Farm Road, Garstin Drive, and Summit Boulevard for the big stage 6 finish at Snow Summit Resort on Friday afternoon the 21st. This, the 5th annual Amgen Tour of California, will include a world-class field of competitors, including three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and, with that, likely a huge influx of visitors to the Big Bear Valley.
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