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Safety and weather the concern for this year's Amgen Tour of California

Safety and weather concern for this years Amgen Tour of California

MONTEREY, Calif. - All eyes will be on the competitors at this year's Amgen Tour of California, not just from spectators trying to catch a glimpse of who crosses the finish line, but also staff who are concerned about rider safety.

More than 100 people are competing this year, each taking the long journey from the Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway all the way to Morro Bay in the 4th stage of this competition.

Joining them are law enforcement as well, with the California Highway Patrol ready to keep drivers across the state in check if they aren't careful around competitors.

For commuters on Highway 1 it should be business as usual, for the most part.

CHP is expected to create a traffic break on Highway 1 as riders transition onto the often busy highway Wednesday morning.

"As soon as CHP sees cars are a few minutes away from us, they'll pull them to the side," says Course Director, Eric Smith. "Then they'll hold them, then continue. That hold is about a 15 minute wait for cars."

Weather is also a concern for riders, as some rain is expected to hit the Central Coast this week.

Organizers say they're confident racers will be able to compete as normal, especially if there's no heavy rain.

Any prior concerns are moreso for thunderstorms or cases in which hypothermia may be an issue.

Snowfall also presents an issue, something organizers found out the hardway back in 2011.

"The first year we moved the race from February to May," says Smith. "We had about 8 inches of snow our first year in Lake Tahoe and had to cancel the race."

Meanwhile, spectators have been known to drive ahead of the race to try and get photos of the riders as they pass by.

The photos might be worth a bit in the long run as a lot of these competitors are using the Tour of California as a prep run for their trip to the Tour de France.


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