Posted: May 15, 2013 5:10 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News
Updated: May 15, 2013 9:45 PM
The Amgen Tour of California has arrived on the Central Coast with Stage 4 ending in Santa Barbara
Riders are halfway done with the race.
There are four stages left.
Riders will be leaving Santa Barbara and sprinting to the Stage 5 finish in Avila Beach on Thursday.
The athletes rode more than 80 miles to get to Santa Barbara and they were given a warm welcome by bike enthusiasts as well as curious onlookers
Hundreds of Amgen fans lined up to catch a glimpse of the Stage 4 winners.
The country's largest bike race attracts fans from all over California and the world
"Yeah, we drove about nine hours yesterday," said Alan Neal.
Alan Neal and his wife are from Lake Port, California.
They've been tracking the race from the start and didn't want to miss the Stage 4 finish in Santa Barbara.
"It's gorgeous. Look at the beach," said Neal.
This Central Coast town is one of eight cities that offered to host a stage finish and Amgen followers from California say it's a big honor.
"It's just so cool to see a big race like this with big names in our home territory," said Amgen fan, Richard Norman.
Richard has followed the Amgen tour since the first race eight years ago.
He says he hopes this event will attract people to the sport
"The race has evolved every year and gotten better and better and better," said Norman.
We asked some Santa Barbara visitors what the Amgen tour was, but they didn't know.
"We actually just found some people and they were explaining it. I guess it's a big one," said Latisha Eiss.
But, after seeing the fans and the riders, they said they are now interested in knowing more.
"It is pretty cool. We are actually excited to be here," said Juan Hernandez.
As the tour continues up the coast, race fans will follow and new fans may be picked up along the way.
Racers will leave Santa Barbara around 11 a.m. and continue north through Orcutt, Guadalupe and Arroyo Grande for the sprint portion and should arrive in Avila Beach around 3:30 p.m.
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