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Amgen Tour speeds through SLO, Santa Barbara counties this week

Matt Thompson/
Racers compete in the 2015 Amgen Tour.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, stages three and four of the Amgen Tour of California professional bicycle race are taking place on the Central Coast. 

Stage three is 120 miles long. The racers will start in Pismo Beach just after 11 a.m. and ride through Guadalupe, Orcutt, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo on their way to the finish in Morro Bay around 3:45 p.m.

To celebrate the race going through San Luis Obispo, city officials organized a block party, with many of the city’s streets closed from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“A high speed mid-race sprint line in front of the Mission is expected to liven up the race and provide great action for the public,” Molly Cano, San Luis Obispo’s tourism manager, said. “A sprint line is a race within a race where the racers act like it is the finish line and pedal as fast as they can to be the first rider across that line. The first three riders to cross that line get bonus points and sometimes, win special prizes”

City buses and trollies will be free to ride all day tomorrow. In a press release about the block party, Cano said the race route hasn’t gone through San Luis Obispo for ten years.

“The downtown block party will continue well after the race, featuring a beer garden, locally made cider, and several family-friendly activities, including a cornhole tournament, lawn games, a window decorating contest and a kids’ bike race,” Cano said.

On Wednesday, the race starts in Santa Barbara at 11:30 a.m. and ends in Santa Clarita around 3:45 p.m. Stage four is 99 miles long and winds through Montecito, Carpinteria and along Hwy. 150. Ojai, Santa Paula and Piru are also on the route.

Credit City of San Luis Obispo
City of San Luis Obispo
The race route through SLO.

The seven-day-long race is being broadcast on NBC Sports.

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