The largest professional cycling event in the U.S. is in the the Bay Area Tuesday.
Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in San Jose with a grueling 108.5-mile race to the summit of Mt. Hamilton and then Mt. Diablo, climbing more than 10,000 feet, race officials said.
With temperatures in the inland Bay Area forecasted to hit over 100 degrees Tuesday, the cyclists have a particularly arduous climb ahead of them.
The race will begin in East San Jose at 10:45 a.m. at the Raging Waters water park in Lake Cunningham State Park and will then head east along state Highway 130 to climb to the summit of Mt. Hamilton, near the Lick Observatory.
The climb to Mt. Hamilton will cover about 10 miles while climbing more than 2,600 feet along an average 5 percent grade. There are 22 switchbacks along the route and the descent will be even steeper, race officials said.
Once off of Mt. Hamilton, the riders will take a long, flat ride through the eastern sections of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, traveling along Mines Road, hitting the eastern edge of Livermore, and then taking Highland Road to Danville.
After that, they will make their final climb to the peak of Mt. Diablo -- a 10-mile climb of more than 3,000 feet. The route's grade has an average of 6 percent but portions of the route are much steeper, at times over 14 percent.
The race is expected to last well into the afternoon. There will be rolling road closures along the route, with the California Highway Patrol periodically stopping traffic while the race goes through. The riders will move at approximately 25 mph, so drivers can maintain that speed behind them.
The Bay Area is the third stop in an eight-day tour of California, finishing up in Southern California on Sunday.
Stages 1 and 2 were in Sacramento and Folsom earlier this week, while Stage 4 will take the riders from Monterey to Cambria, Stage 5 from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara, Stage 6 from Santa Clarita to Mountain High, Stage 7 from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, and Stage 8 in Thousand Oaks.
More information about the race is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.