This weekend will be big for Sacramento cycling fans, but tough on drivers.
A hundred miles of Valley and foothill roads will be closed at times Sunday and Monday to allow passage for the speeding peloton of 128 professional bicycle riders participating in the Amgen Tour of California race.
The eight-day race begins Sunday with a 123-mile stage that starts and finishes near the Capitol in downtown Sacramento.
Coverage of the first two days of the event will include live blogs on sacbee.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday. They will feature Twitter reports from the scene by The Bee’s reporting and visuals team and other key sources, with race updates and results, observations of crowd activity and a general sense of the event’s impact on the community.
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A team of photographers and videographers will file pictures and videos from various vantage points, including a motorcycle traveling with cyclists as they challenge Sunday’s Sacramento course and Monday’s time trial in Folsom. Reporters will provide race updates and features that will be posted at sacbee.com throughout the day during the event.
Streets to be closed for Sunday include L, N, P, Ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th and 18th streets and Capitol Avenue in the Capitol area. Organizers are advising people to park at garages or on streets outside the closure zone, or take light rail or ride bikes. A bike valet area will be provided for bike safekeeping on the west side of the Capitol.
Sunday’s stage, which begins at 10:50 a.m., will send cyclists along the Garden Highway into Sutter County, then through Lincoln and Auburn. Cyclists will pedal Highway 49 through the American River canyon, then follow Salmon Falls Road, Silva Valley Parkway, White Rock Road, Grant Line Road, Jackson Road and Folsom Boulevard back into downtown.
Sunday’s stage 1 route
Most of those roads will be closed for brief periods just before and after the cyclists come through. For “route logs,” estimating what time the racers will reach key junctures along the route, go to: http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/stages/stage-1.
There will be extensive road closures on Folsom city streets and bridges the following day, Monday, when cyclists participate in a 12.5-mile individual time trial.
Folsom officials say the Monday closures will last from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Rainbow Bridge and Folsom Lake Crossing will be entirely closed during that period. Lake Natoma Crossing will be limited to one open lane in each direction, as will part of Folsom Auburn Road. Portions of East Natoma Street, Riley Street and Green Valley Road also will be closed.
The women’s race Monday begins at 11:10 a.m., and the men’s race at 1:05 p.m. Racers will start on Sutter Street, cross the Rainbow Bridge, go north on Folsom Auburn Road, cross Folsom Lake Crossing and loop to Green Valley Road, where they will make a U-turn and head back into historic Folsom via Natoma Crossing.
City officials say the race brings in valued publicity and economic activity. The Sacramento Sports Commission estimates the event will result in 2,790 nights of hotel bookings and inject about $8.4 million into the area economy.
Folsom officials say they are trying to get the word out to drivers in their city and commuters from El Dorado Hills who drive across Folsom’s bridges to make sure they get through town before 9 a.m. on Monday.
The city of Folsom will have a call center open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at ( 916) 608-6222 to answer questions about road closures and alternate routes.
“Hosting the world’s top professional cyclists for the individual (time) trial is an exciting opportunity for our community,” said City Manager Evert Palmer. “While we know the event will inconvenience some motorists, we believe the one-day traffic impacts are worth the opportunity to showcase our community before a worldwide television audience and the thousands of cycling fans who will visit our community on race day.”