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Auburn gears up for Amgen

10:01 AM, May 14, 2010   |    comments
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STAGE 2: Best places to see the race near Davis Monday

AUBURN, CA - The historic foothills town of Auburn is typically a quiet place. But this Sunday, the number of people and the noise level are expected to elevate significantly.

That's because the Amgen Tour of California will roll into town for the first time, bringing some of the world's best cyclists -- and thousands of spectators.

"Amgen is coming right through town and right in front of the shop so we're excited," Dan Tebbs said. 

Tebbs owns Victory Velo Bike Shop, which looks out on the race route on Lincoln Way. Intermediate sprint lines for the race will be outside his front door. 

"We expect a lot of people will be here because of the sprint lines," Tebbs said. "The riders try to get there first and they accumulate points for crossing the line first."

Tebbs hopes the race will bring his shop some extra business.  He and other merchants have kicked in $5,500 to make sure spectators have a good time. 

"We have a little expo area so people can enjoy themselves," Tebbs said. "We'll have a Jumbotron on the new plaza. There's a jump house for the kids. There will be vendors down there." 

Cyclists are already trying to determine where the best vantage points are to watch the race. 

"We're going to ride down to the Foresthill bridge and watch them go across the bridge," said Mike Burke. "I'm a big fan of Lance Armstrong. I went to see him in Nevada City last year and I'm just excited to see him again."

The city of Auburn will pay $3,300 for its portion of race costs.  Officials said $3,000 will go to the Public Works Department, which will put up banners, grandstands and fencing to block off streets.

The remaining $300 will go to the Auburn Police Department to pay overtime for officers who man the race route

Police Chief Valerie Harris said she's also making sure that parked vehicles are removed before the tour hits town.

"There will be a warning message that goes out. Businesses and residents on the route will receive phone calls reminding them of the street closures," she said. "If they don't move their cars, they will be towed."

About 200 volunteers have signed up to help manage crowds and the expo area.

The racers will only be in Auburn for about 10 minutes before they roll out of town for their next destination. The race will be televised and seen around the world so organizers want to make the best of it.

"Auburn is a very unique town.  It's one of the oldest in California," Tebbs said. "We want to put Auburn on the map."

By Karen Massie,  


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