May 17, 2013 2:42 AM by Victoria Johnson
Cyclists in the Amgen Tour of California raced 116 miles Thursday through the Central Coast. The winner of stage 5 was Jens Voigt from team Radio Shack, Leopard. He finished with a time of four hours and 41 minutes. The finish line was in Avila Beach.
It was a day packed with high speed action. Crowds filled the streets in Avila Beach but the turnout was not as big as expected. It was a race in our own backyard with the top cyclists in the world, seen by viewers around the world. After months of anticipation, the race was over in a flash.
"I was about to not pass out, I think, but it was pretty hard. I had to dig deep and give it everything," said stage 5 winner, Jens Voigt. He sprinted at the end to win stage 5 as people cheered on the racers at the finish line. "It gets really exciting at the finish. It gets noisy. Everyone gets into it," said Brian Shea.
One store employee said she made 90 pounds of fudge for the expected 7 thousand spectators. However, nowhere near that many showed up, perhaps because of Avila Beach's unique access.
Doug Groshart and Dave Lacaro both agreed that the crowds were lower than expected. "I think there was a hesitance because there way one way in and one way out. I think people were concerned about that probably," said Groshart. But Thursday morning, the riders raced through downtown Orcutt in just a few seconds.
After riding through hills and fields, the race drama ended in Avila Beach, and was watched close-up by fans and others around the world. Some fans continued the celebration at a concert at the Avila Beach Golf Course while the Amgen crews tore down their tents as fast as one of the pros on a high speed bike.
It's nearly back to business as usual in Avila Beach. Vendors and racers alike are on their way to their next stop in their tour, in San Jose. After the leg in San Jose, racers will continue to Livermore on Saturday, race through San Francisco, ending in Santa Rosa on Sunday to wrap up the eight day Amgen tour of California.
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