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Coachella Valley prepares for 2013 Amgen Tour cyclists Monday

Riders set to race down Highway 74 around noon bringing excitement and traffic closures

Valley gears up for Amgen Tour cyclists

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Up Tramway Road, workers quickly pieced together the nuts and bolts of festival tents, awaiting for cyclists and enthusiasts of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California to make their way to the Coachella Valley.

On Monday, riders will begin Stage 2 of the 750-mile route race in Murrieta at 10:20 a.m.

More than 115 of the world's top cyclists will glide down Highway 74 around 2 p.m., then sprint through El Paseo in Palm Desert, then travel through Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City and lastly make the challenging climb up Tramway Road in Palm Springs by approximately 4 p.m.

Some riders say it won't be easy.

"I think that's going to be a great finish to a hard stage. A lot of these people come from places that aren't hot. They're going to be surprised when they hit this climb here," said Joshua Talley, of Santa Monica, who rode up Tramway Road on Sunday.

Michelle West says, "If you love to climb, this is one of the hardest climbs in California."

Jonny Westom, of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitor's Bureau, says the climb is sure to put the desert on the map as a cycling community and destination.

"We're really excited to have racers come here and give them that challenge they're looking for," he said.

Westom encourages the community to join in on the tour by participating at local viewing areas across the Valley and attend the Lifestyle Festival at the top of Tramway Road from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"You can stand on the sidewalk and almost touch the racers. You can run next to them. It's a real group effort," said Westom.

AEG, the presenter of the race, says it's a committed effort to promote healthy living and a challenge to help "Breakaway from Cancer."

"It's going to be awesome to watch how they do at the end," said West.

Due to the event, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will not operate on Monday.

Also, roads being used by the cyclists will be closed only while they ride through.

The California Highway Patrol says drivers should avoid the following roads on Monday or expect delays of an hour or more:

  • Highway 74
  • El Paseo
  • Highway 111
  • Country Club
  • Morningside
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Da Vall
  • Dinah Shore
  • Palm Canyon Drive
  • Gene Autry Trail  
  • Toledo Avenue
  • Tramway Road

Spectator areas include:

  • Palm Desert: El Paseo
  • Rancho Mirage: The River
  • Cathedral City: Date Palm Drive and Dinah Shore
  • Palm Springs: Forever Marilyn park
  • Palm Springs: Tramway Road


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