Valley Cities Prepare for the AMGEN Tour of California

Fresno, CA Riders came through Visalia in last year's race and Glenn Morris of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce says getting a starting spot this year is an achievement. He said, "Well, we're just excited they are coming back. We think it's validation we did a good job last year."

It's also welcome news for other Valley communities. Last year the race went west from Visalia to Paso Robles. This year, it heads south through several small Valley cities, Lindsay, Exeter, and Porterville. Mike Camarena, a Lindsay city official helped select the route. He said, "It's an opportunity it's an international opportunity to showcase Eastern Tulare County and the communities the tour is going to go through."

In addition, Morris said the route will showcase some of the region's best scenery. He said, "It gets us up into the foothills and closer to the National Parks and the National Forests which we market to visitors."

In addition to international exposure, the race should be an economic boost. Steve Fealey is happy to learn his sandwich shop in Downtown Porterville is in a prime location. "They are supposed to actually have a sprint right down Main Street here." Fealey said he hopes to sell lots of sandwiches.

Those lining the race route should see some excitement but, Camerana wants everyone to remember, it goes by quick. "It's free to the public, but you only got a few minutes and then they are gone."

After the Visalia to Bakersfield leg the tour picks up again in Southern California. The 8th and final stage ends there May 23rd.

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