The annual Amgen Tour of California Bicycle Race, featuring seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, will stop in Solvang today for the sixth stage of the race.
The Danish town will host the tour, a statewide professional cycling race, which began Feb. 14 in Sacramento and ends Feb. 22 in Escondido, near the Mexican border.
Beginning at noon, 118 bicyclists will compete in a 15-mile route, with a single rider leaving the starting gate every minute.
Nearly 15,000 spectators are expected to attend the race, which features Armstrong in one of his first appearances after “retiring” from professional cycling following his seventh Tour de France win in 2005. He is currently in fourth place, with fellow American Levi Leipheimer leading.
In addition to the race, Solvang will hold a Lifestyle Festival offering health screenings, cancer awareness efforts, bicycle stunt shows and live music. Following the race, a gala event will be held at the Hotel Corque.
All other race day events are free and open to the public. The Santa Ynez Valley Transit will also provide a free shuttle to compensate for road closures and limited parking along the race route.
Funding for the race came from sponsorships from local businesses.