SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Amgen Tour of California will bring big crowds along the race route this week in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, but there will also be many road closures.
Orange signs have been set out on the streets and highways where the racers will be competing on Wednesday and Thursday. Residents have been urged to use detours or adjust their schedules.
"It should be exciting," said Aaron Olson a former racer. He owns the Handlebar Roasting Company in Santa Barbara now. Jerseys hang on the walls next to racing pictures and fresh ground coffee. Olson opened his coffee shop in Santa Barbara after enjoying his trips here while competing in five Amgen races."
"It's awesome for the fans, challenging for riders, beautiful weather, the mountains, the ocean," said Olson. "It attracts some of the biggest racers in the world. Definitely the best teams."
To get around road detours, Santa Barbara Mesa resident Grant Danely said he will go "by bike, by timing, and by foot. I actually live off Cliff Dr. so that's going to be closed there."
Another resident Jacqueline Capra said she knows the back roads. "I use them a lot anyway. The morning it's usually busy. I've lived here 20 years so I know the sneaky way." As for the race, she says, "it's good for the town so you can't complain about that."
Amgen has posted turn by turn directions for each stage of the race this week on its website www.amgentourofcalifornia.comhttp://handlebarcoffee.com/