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The cyclists are coming

America’s biggest bicycling event will take to Auburn streets
By: Melody Stone Journal staff writer
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The Amgen Tour of California will race through Auburn Sunday, May 16. City officials and business owners are working overtime to make sure everyone is prepared. The Amgen Web site calls the tour the largest cycling event in America. Phase one of the seven-day course begins in Nevada City, runs through Auburn, down the American River Canyon through Cool and ends in Sacramento. “2010 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, which challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course from May 16-23,” said Amgen’s Web site, www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. Auburn Mayor Bridget Powers is planning to watch the race from Central Square after participating in a pre-ride to Nevada City the day prior. “We’re so excited,” Powers said. “The whole community is coming together and putting on a lot of pre-events.” The local bike shops are also gearing up for the race. Auburn Bike Works will have a booth Downtown showcasing locally made cycling products. Auburn Bike Works owner, Lisa Kodl, said the race is bringing a lot of attention to Auburn and cycling. “The city is putting a lot of effort into making it a fun day,” Kodl said. Kodl said customers have inquired about the best place to watch the race. “The answer is always — get there early and expect to stay because the roads are going to be closed,” Kodl said. Auburn Bike Works manager, Mike Thompson, said he’s planning a mountain-bike ride with stops along the Amgen Tour to catch a peek at the race. “There are multiple points where we can jump off and sneak down to take a picture,” Thompson said. “What I like about (the race) is the opportunity, for those of us who don’t have all these big road races like in Europe, to get out and see some of the big names in road cycling.” According to Kodl two of the big draws for the race are three-time Amgen winner and most recent winner, Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong. The Auburn Police Department has been working hard to recruit volunteers to help with road closures and race-day logistics. Race coordinators said they’ve never seen this many volunteers for a pass-through city. Police Capt. John Ruffcorn said 80 volunteers attended an informational meeting Sunday. The city is shooting for 100 volunteers. Ruffcorn said he is working with the business associations and other law enforcement and public safety organizations to ensure the day goes smoothly. “CHP wants to model what we’re doing (with the volunteers) for other pass-through cities (on the race route),” Ruffcorn said. “Amgen preparation is going along fine. We’re finalizing our plans with the two business associations and Chamber of Commerce. We’ve notified all our churches and we’re working with them.” The race will pass through Auburn on a Sunday approximately from 12:50 to 1:30 p.m. Which may impact some churchgoers trying to leave Sunday services. The cyclists will come into Auburn from Nevada City on Placer Hills Road and loop through the city via Auburn Ravine Road, down through Old Town and Downtown and back up on Lincoln Way. Ruffcorn said residents along the route have been notified in several different ways about the race. “Our goal is to let people know how wonderful our city is, how enthusiastic we are about outdoor events and try to attract other entities to bring their outdoor and endurance events to our city,” Ruffcorn said. ---------------------------- Interested in volunteering? Contact Auburn Police Capt. John Ruffcorn at (530) 823-4211, ext. 203 or e-mail him at jruffcorn@auburn.ca.gov or attend a volunteers’ informational meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, in the Rose Room at City Hall ---------------------------- Race Schedule Stage 1 Route through Placer and El Dorado Counties Estimated arrival time – Course Directions 12:28 – Right onto Placer Hills Road from Dog Bar Road 12:43 – Right onto Lake Arthur Road from Placer Hills Road 12:46 – Left onto Christian Valley Road/Bowman from Lake Arthur Road 12:51 – Right onto Auburn Ravine Road from Bowman Road 12:52 – Enter Auburn 12:55 – Left onto Palm Ave. from Auburn Ravine Road 12:56 – Left onto Elm Ave. from Auburn Ravine Road 12:56 – Right onto Shirley St. from Elm Ave. 12:56 – Left onto Garfield St. from Shirley St. 12:56 – Right onto Pine St. from Garfield St. 12:57 – Right onto Lincoln Way 12:58 – Left onto Sacramento St. from Lincoln Way 12:59 – Right onto Lincoln Way from High St. 12:59 – Herbalife Sprint sub-competition 1:00 – Right onto Lincoln Way/ El Dorado St. from Lincoln Way 1:00 – Left to continue on Lincoln Way 1:04 – Right onto Foresthill Road from Lincoln Way 1:05 – Auburn Foresthill Bridge 1:09 – Right onto Old Auburn Foresthill Road from Foresthill Road 1:18 – Left onto Highway 49 from Old Auburn Foresthill Road 1:18 – Enter El Dorado County 1:22 – California Travel and Tourism: King of the Mountain sub-competition, Highway 49 1:25 – Enter cool 1:33 – Right onto Salmon Falls Cutoff from Highway 49 1:33 – Left onto Salmon Fall Road from Salmon Falls Cutoff 1:58 – Left onto Malcolm Dixon Road from Salmon Falls Road 1:59 – Right onto Alleghent Road from Malcolm Dixon Road 2:12 – Enter Sacramento County 3:28 - Finish line at L and 11th Streets in Sacramento