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Marsha McLean: Live from City Hall

Posted: May 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Santa Clarita will be on center stage with an international audience. We are thrilled to have been selected as a host city for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California with both a Start and Finish stage.

This year marks the fifth time the race will ride through Santa Clarita, one of two participating cities in Los Angeles County. It’s the second time our city has hosted both stages.

Considered the largest cycling event in America, the Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course.

Scheduled over eight consecutive days from May 12-19, 2013, the race will visit 12 host cities. For the first time in race history, the course will travel the length of California from south to north.

Santa Clarita will host the finish of Stage 3, one of the longest lengths of the race at 111.8 miles, on Tuesday with the race starting at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale and ending on Magic Mountain Parkway.

The following day our city will kick off Stage 4 on Town Center Drive with riders racing more than 80 miles to the finish location in Santa Barbara.

Sixteen teams from among the best international and domestic athletes have been selected to compete in the race, including Olympic medalists, Tour de France competitors and the reigning world champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium.

Every year the Amgen Tour of California attracts the top teams and riders, and Santa Clarita is excited to be part of one of the world’s greatest professional cycling showcases. Even if you don’t follow cycling, the excitement of the Tour is contagious and these athletes are not to be missed.

A variety of cycling events surrounding the arrival of the Amgen Tour of California are scheduled during the week of the race, so if you are in town I hope you’ll make plans to join us at one or all of them.

On Monday, the NBC Sports Network nightly recap of the race will be broadcast at a free viewing party at Salt Creek Grille on Town Center Drive. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with race coverage beginning at 8 p.m.

The event will include prizes raffled off at the viewing party, including signed rider jerseys and trail packs. The viewing party is open to everyone, with attendees responsible to purchase their own food and drink.

On Thursday, local businesses are invited to participate in the friendly annual Bike to Work day competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to go green and use an alternate form of transportation for their work commute supporting a greener and healthier Santa Clarita.

The cycling celebration continues later Thursday in Old Town Newhall as Senses hosts a "Rock the Bike"-themed block party from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. This event will feature live rock n’ roll, gourmet food trucks, street performers and other fun activities.

In anticipation of the race, residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to check the city’s website Santa-Clarita.com/TourOfCA for updates relating to traffic impacts and event information. Please remember that an event of this magnitude will result in some road impacts and we are doing everything we can to ensure the community is aware of road closures and times in order to plan ahead.

Residents who use Facebook are encouraged to "like" the city’s page for timely updates at Facebook.com/SantaClaritaTourofCA.

Cycling is a great way to enjoy our community and support a healthy, active lifestyle. The city of Santa Clarita is proud of our association with the Amgen Tour of California and honored to return as a host city for the fifth time in race history.

With more than 70 miles of off-street trails, Santa Clarita continues to be a cycling-friendly community and we are looking forward to providing a world-class welcome for cycling fans and riders alike.

Masha McLean is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at mmclean@santa-clarita.com.

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