Tour of California starts in Pismo Beach for the second day of racing in SLO County

The Amgen Tour of California is back at it Thursday for its second stop in San Luis Obispo County — but the riders weren’t here around for long.

Stage 5 started in Pismo Beach following Wednesday’s stage that ended in Morro Bay after a day of racing down scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur and the North Coast.

The starting gun went off at around 9 a.m., and riders had reached Guadalupe in northern Santa Barbara County in less than 90 minutes.

The route then crossed to Highway 154 before the finish in Ventura after 138 miles. The early portion of the stage headed inland into Santa Barbara County wine country and Lake Cachuma via San Marcos Pass in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Riders hit the coast again just north of the city of Santa Barbara before the finish in Ventura. Ivan Garcia Cortina of team Bahrain-Merida won the stage. American Tejay van Garderen of team EF Education First Pro Cycling maintained his overall lead.

Stage 6 — or the Queen Stage — brings riders up the slopes of Mt. Baldy and through the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles.

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