Two San Luis Obispo County cities will host Amgen Tour of California stage stops in 2019.
Morro Bay will end Stage 4 of the professional cycling race on May 15, and Pismo Beach will be the starting point for Stage 5 of the seven-day event on May 16.
The event’s 14th race will take place statewide from May 12, starting in Sacramento, to May 19, ending in Pasadena.
San Luis Obispo County didn’t host any tour stages of last spring.
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This marks the third time that Morro Bay has been chosen as a host city.
The city will be the finish line for a leg that begins at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (a paved road racing track used for both auto racing and motorcycle racing located near Monterey).
“We are beyond thrilled to host this prestigious race in Morro Bay and show off our awesome community to the rest of the world,” Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons said in a statement. “Morro Bay truly is a cyclist’s paradise with our picturesque views and open roads.”
The organization RaceSLO is working with Morro Bay officials to “produce a first-class finish line, a festival to showcase Morro Bay as a premier cycling destination and to build connections with the valued cycling community members,” according to a press release issued by RaceSLO that coordinates sporting events, including marathons and bike races.
The schedule for the men’s race is as follows: May 12 — Sacramento; May 13 — Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe; May 14 — Stockton to Morgan Hill; May 15 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay; May 16 — Pismo Beach to Ventura; May 17 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy; May 18 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena.
The schedule for the women’s race is: May 16 — Ventura; May 17 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy; May 18 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena.
The tour is free to the public, with live music, vendors, food and beverage on hand.
A local fundraising walk and ride event will be held on May 14, with all proceeds benefiting Bike SLO County, a nonprofit dedicated to building a safe, healthy and connected community through bicycling.
The 2018 Amgen Tour was seen by an estimated 15.92 million worldwide TV viewers, and 125 million checked in on the race via social media, according to the RaceSLO press release.