World-Class Cyclists to Breeze Through San Jose

Wednesday, May 19, 2010  |  Updated 6:19 AM PDT
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The "Other" Bicycle Racing

Jason Montiel

Many of the cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California use it as part of their preparation for the world-famous Tour de France.

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Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Peggy Fleming will signal the start of the fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California in San Jose today.

Steven Brewster, a spokesman for San Jose's Office of Economic Development said the start gun would be fired at 11 a.m. Festivities with cycling stars Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer will begin at 9:30 a.m.

This 121.5-mile segment of the race begins at Park Avenue between Almaden Boulevard and Market Street, and ends in Modesto sometime between 3:30 and 4:15 p.m.

Seventeen cycling teams are competing in the road race, which began May 16 in Nevada City. They will ride a total of about 750 miles through California, finishing May 23 in Thousand Oaks. Many of the cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California use it as part of their preparation for the world-famous Tour de France.

The San Jose-to-Modesto stage of the race takes racers 1,930 feet up Sierra Road and a winding stretch of Calaveras Road in Santa Clara and  Alameda counties that includes more than 40 switchbacks before visiting downtown Livermore for the first time. The race will then turn on to the very  challenging Mines Road, where the riders will face nearly 30 miles of a narrow twisting road before a long descent into Patterson.

Brewster said San Jose is anticipating up to 17,000 attendees at Wednesday's event.

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