SANTA ROSA (KCBS)— Stage two of the Amgen Tour of California bike race got underway Monday morning in San Francisco’s Marina Green, but over the weekend tens of thousands of people came out to cheer racers for the first stage in Sonoma County.

The largest professional bike race is exciting for bicycle fans but for local businesses too.

Nearly 150 racers, with their top-of-the line bikes, bright colored spandex and aerodynamic helmets flew through the streets of Santa Rosa, the first stage of the eight-day race and the crowd went nuts.

KCBS’ Jeffery Schaub Reports:

Local favorite Levi Leipheimer told the crowd before the race began that Sonoma County will show the world why cycling is such a big deal here. Jim Devries agreed.

“A lot of bikes, a lot of bike shops, a lot of enthusiasts, a lot of respect put into the sport,” Devries said.

Hotel rooms have been booked up for months. The Amgen Tour has become so famous that it’s being broadcast nationwide.

The tour makes its way through other parts of Northern California including Santa Cruz and Livermore as well as a grueling ride up Mt. Diablo.

The current leg takes cyclists to Cabrillo College in Aptos. The tour ends May 20th in Los Angeles.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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