Nevada City, 5/14/10
Preparing for the Amgen Tour of California in Nevada City. Photo by Nick Monacelli
NEVADA CITY, CA - As the best cyclists in the world prepare for the Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City braces for thousands of fans who are ready to watch all the action from the starting line Sunday.
For competitors like Levi Leipheimer, the highlight of the race is the start in Nevada City, who is hosting the tour for the first time.
"Lance (Armstrong) and I were there last year for the Nevada City Classic," Leipheimer said. "It's a great race. It's tough. It's a really cool little town."
Organizers expect at least 30,000 people to watch the start of the race in Nevada City Sunday morning.
Nevada city mayor Reinette Senum said everyone is rolling out the red carpet for the athletes and fans.
"People are putting out flowers," Senum said. "They're inviting their friends for the best time of their life."
Along with the cycling crowds, city leaders and businesses were also looking forward to the extra economic boost because the tour may raise around $1 million for the local economy.
"The whole community benefits and the merchants benefit, especially with the economy the way it is now," Nevada City Amgen Coordinator Duane Strawser said. "Anything we can do to bring attention to ourselves and the people up the hills is wonderful."