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SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, -- It's billed as the biggest event ever to hit Santa Clarita, drawing 10 times the crowds the city's annual cowboy festival pulls.
On Saturday, 100,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of Valencia for a stage of the Amgen Tour of California The Amgen Tour of California is a professional cycling stage race on the UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Professional Tour that made its debut on February 19, 2006. Sponsored by the biotechnology company Amgen, the eight-day race covers between 650-700 miles (1,045 - 1,126 km). bicycle race, the nation's most prestigious cycling event.
"It's going to be great; it's going to be wonderful," said Phil Lantis, Santa Clarita's arts and events administrator. "It meets the image we're trying to project as a healthy place to live, a place that values family."
Signs are in place to warn motorists of road closures, and 300 volunteers are trained and ready to take their posts across driveways and streets that cross the route. Sheriff's deputies will man the major intersections to keep traffic from crossing the racers' path.
The city has budgeted $150,000 for its role in the race that starts today with a prologue in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden with 144 of the world's top cyclists. From San Francisco, the race makes its way south with stops in Sausalito, Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, city, Argentina
Santa Rosa, city (1991 pop. 80,629), capital of La Pampa prov., central Argentina. It is a modern city and road junction surrounded by a rich agricultural and cattle-raising area. , Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. , Seaside, Solvang and Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (săn'tə bär`brə, –bərə), city (1990 pop. 85,571), seat of Santa Barbara co., S Calif., on the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1850. .
Saturday morning, the cyclists leave Santa Barbara and speed east to Santa Clarita, which Lantis said could be the most critical stage of the race. The tour ends the following day in Long Beach.
"It's the sixth stage," Lantis said of the Santa Barbara-to-Santa Clarita leg, "and the seventh and final stage is a circuit race where it's tough to make up time."
"Unless the time is very, very close," he said, "it will be difficult for anyone to catch up to whoever is wearing the yellow jersey when they leave here."
The yellow shirt is worn by the cyclist with the overall best time.
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"It's really super exciting for the cycling world," she said of the tour. "It's going to bring the city so much visibility."
The top viewing location recommended by the city is the finish line on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard. There the city will host a Lifestyle Festival and other related events.
Another good spot is Valencia Boulevard between McBean and Tourney Road, an uphill portion on the final circuit where riders will most likely strike their best efforts for the day.
The east side of Tourney north of Valencia Boulevard marks a long downhill stretch leading to Magic Mountain Parkway where sidewalks follow the route for a view of the home stretch.
Last year, an estimated 100,000 spectators gathered in Balcom Canyon in Ventura County to watch the race head toward Thousand Oaks, said Jane Sherring, a Valencia cyclist who will help coordinate Saturday's women's race and volunteer for the Amgen tour.
"It's equal to the Tour de France Tour de France
World's most prestigious and difficult bicycle race. Staged for three weeks each July—usually in some 20 daylong stages—the Tour typically comprises 20 professional teams of nine riders each and covers some 3,600 km (2,235 miles) of flat and ," Sherrin said. "This is huge for men's cycling. It's huge for Santa Clarita."