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Why Morro Bay can be an Amgen host city for the first time

Randol White

The City of Morro Bay will for the first time be a host city during next year's Amgen Tour of California.

The Central Coast has been featured many times during the decade-long event including Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach and Avila Beach just last year.

Stage 3 will include the mountains above Santa Barbara along Gibraltar Road. Stage 4 begins in Morro Bay and heads north on Highway 1 through Cayucos, Cambria and ends at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey County.

Morro Bay's Deputy City Manger Sam Taylor said his city was chosen this year because of a tweak to the traditional staging.

"The riders can only ride a certain distance each day, and that is what actually has allowed us to participate this year. Because the race course is flipped, it is now going south to north, Morro Bay happens to fit the pattern," said Taylor.  "We are literally four miles short of the maximum for the racers in one day."

Costs to host the event in Morro Bay are being covered in part by Visit SLO County and the city's own tourism bureau.

The Amgen Tour of California takes place in mid-May next year.

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