The temperature was hovering near 90 degrees as the Amgen Tour of California's Stage 5 kicked off along the Pismo Beach pier Thursday morning, well above normal for mid-May along the Central Coast.
Suzen Brasil with the City of Pismo Beach estimates some 5000 people showed up to cheer the riders at the pier and on connecting streets.
The route first took riders to Arroyo Grande for a sprint down Branch Street, then to a sizzling Santa Ynez Valley, up and over the San Marcos pass on Highway 154, with a finish finally in Santa Barbara around 4:00 p.m.
Prior to the Stage 5 start, tour riders were given decorated sand dollars by the children of Happy Time Preschool, and entertained by a flash mob performing to the Pharrell Williams' song "Happy."
"I think it was a huge success for Pismo as well as Amgen," said Brasil. "They said out of the nine years they've had Amgen, it was the best start city they've ever had."
Video provided by the City of Pismo Beach, Courtney Winters: