Tour of California Winding Through the Bay Area

By Christie Smith
|  Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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Tour of California Winding Through the Bay Area

NBC Bay Area

After a challenging day of cycling through stormy conditions Monday, Brett Lancaster took the stage win, as well as the overall lead in the General Classification.

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The Great Highway in San Francisco near Ocean Beach is starting to look like the the Tour de France. The crowds, excitement and cyclists are about to roll down the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway on their way to Santa Cruz for Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California.

The second stage of the brought excitement to the thunderous crowds at the finish in Santa Rosa, home to the BMC Racing and three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer of Team RadioShack, who is currently in 12th place overall. After a challenging day of cycling through stormy conditions, Brett Lancaster took the stage win, as well as the overall lead in the General Classification.

Stage 2 covered Davis to Santa Rosa. Stage 3 runs 120 miles of coast and redwoods. Race Technical Director Chuck Hodge spoke with NBC Bay Area News this morning. He said, surely Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer are big draws, but so are many of the European riders.

The crowds keep getting bigger and good weather is expected Tuesday after rain on Monday.

Stage 3 begins at 11:15 and expected to end at about 3:30 in Santa Cruz. The CHP will help with temporary road blocks. The route will take the riders south down the California coastline on Highway 1, flanked by the picturesque backdrops of the Pacific Ocean on one side and Redwood forests on the other.

This coastal stage will include three long, but moderate climbs on Tunitas Creek Rd., La Honda Rd. and Bonny Doon Rd., which will all be followed by lengthy and fast descents. The sprint to the finish will follow W. Cliff Dr. along Monterey Bay to an exhilarating conclusion to Stage 3 at the world famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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