VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Ventura County got to witness some of the best cyclists in the world as the Amgen Tour of California made its way to the City of Ventura.
Women cyclists kicked off the day speeding out of the Ventura County Fairgrounds for the Amgen Tour of California.
“We have a total of 16 teams participating,” said Kristin Klein, President of the Amgen Tour of California. “These are the best women in the world. It is the only women tour race in America and one of the biggest races in the world.”
It is the first time Ventura has hosted the women’s race, but the second year the Tour has been to the 805.
“The Amgen tour of California is an international post card of the State of California, and what a beautiful city to showcase to the world,” said Klein. “There is nothing like Ventura, the overall community and city has been so supportive, and it is such a strong cycling community. We knew we needed to come back and we know they are going to be a long term partner of ours.”
For Dan Byrd and his son Robert, it was a perfect day to play hooky.
“I missed school once 40 years ago for the Coors Classic in Sacramento and I thought it was worth it,” said Byrd.
“It is the first time I have ever seen a race start, so in my opinion it was pretty darn cool,” said his son Robert.
There was extra reason to cheer on the women’s team. Two Ventura locals are competing and they just so happen to be related.
“The Ryan sisters are from Ventura which is fantastic and they are definitely fan favorites,” said Klein.
“Cycling is becoming so popular both in Ventura and really across the county,” said Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere. “To have Kendal and Alexis both from Ventura, the Ryan sisters are two of our best ambassadors. They represent Ventura so well. And that is really one of the reasons why cycling is so popular.”
Bringing the Amgen to Ventura is also helping boost the economy.
“Tourism is obviously very important to our local economy and to have thousands of people embark on Ventura for a couple of days it does wonders for our economy. Our hotels are full, our restaurants are creating great business,” said LaVere. “This is just all around a win-win for everyone here at the Amgen race today.”