It was a big day Monday for cycling fans on the South Coast, with the nation’s largest pro cycling event coming to the region.
Tens of thousands of pro cycling fans lined South Coast highways, and streets for the 2018 edition of the Amgen Tour of California.
The more than 110 riders started in Ventura, and passed through a half dozen communities like Oxnard, Camarillo, Santa Paula and Ojai before heading into Santa Barbara County, and finishing on Gibraltar Road.
Perhaps the biggest crowd was in downtown Ventura, where fans loved the fact they could not just see, but meet some of the world’s best cyclists. Some watched the start of the second stage in Ventura, and then raced to Santa Barbara to see the finish.
While most cycling fans were out to experience the spectacle of the event, once the race started it was serious business for the riders. Egan Bernal of Colombia was the top finisher for the stage.
This year’s tour features 17 teams from 30 counties, including seven past world champions. The 645 mile long tour continued Tuesday, taking riders north from King City to Monterey. It finishes in Sacramento on Saturday.