The May 19 Big Bear Time Trial features men’s individual competition around the lake as top cyclists compete against the clock on a scenic 14.2 mile course. Starting in the Village and heading along the north shore to Fawnskin and back, it’s easily the most spectator-friendly event the prestigious tour has brought to Big Bear.
As riders traveling 30 mph approach the Village on the return they’ll pass under a narrow stone archway at Pine Knot Ave., turn right and head out onto the marina’s 1,000 ft. jetty for an over-water finish that should be spectacular. While the course is mostly level, with only about 400 feet of elevation gain, Big Bear’s high altitude at nearly 7,000 ft. will test the best. This is the race fans expected two years ago when Big Bear was set to host the stage, before snow forced its relocation.
The field is considered the strongest in Amgen history with elite professional cycling teams from around the world. Riders are competing for the highest prize purse of any cycling race in North America, making the Amgen Tour of California, which began in 2006, the nation’s top event and an important international race as a prelude to summer’s Tour de France.
Mark Cavendish, an Amgen Tour of California veteran and Olympic silver medalist is expected to race. The Team Dimension Data rider won the tenth Amgen Tour of California stage of his career last year before taking the opening stage and three others at the 2016 Tour de France.
The Amgen Tour’s record holder Peter Sagan is also expected to race. He has 15 Tour stage victories on his resume and capped off last season by wearing the yellow jersey for the first time at Tour de France. Then winning his second world championship title!
Amgen Tour of California joins UCI WorldTour this year with 11 WorldTour teams participating and the most decorated cyclists from Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, South Africa and more. Including first ranked, California-based BMC Racing Team plus three Pro Continental and two Continental teams.
As racers depart the Village visitors are entertained with daylong lifestyle festival featuring national and local vendor booths, entertainment and beer garden. There’s continuous music, Maxxis BMX Stunt Team featuring top riders seen on the X Games and Dew Tour, and official race merchandise.
Fans have access to the pro team busses and rider warm up areas where they can mingle with riders and take up close photos—try doing that at any other pro sporting event! There’s even a temporary bridge spanning the boulevard so fans can cross the course without interfering with riders. Among the more than 40 booths are two from title sponsor Amgen. One highlights Breakaway from Cancer, a national initiative to increase awareness of resources for those affected by the diseases, and the other is Breakway from Heart Disease, leading cause of death in the world.
Check out two fully immersive virtual reality experiences at the Lexus space as fans follow former pro Christian Vande Velde on a “ride.” The VR Cycling Challenge is a within a virtual peloton with 3D spatial sound and 360-degree view. The Lexus F Sport bike will be on display and the live race will be broadcast via the Microsoft Tour Tracker for viewing.
Make it a weekend with daily activities May 18-21 beginning with Thursday’s welcome celebration. The Cave Big Bear hosts opening night party on May 18 at 5 p.m. with free show featuring the hot Morgan Leigh Band! The group is one of the Southland’s up and coming high energy country bands and has opened for Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Jamie O’Neal, Craig Wayne Boyd, James Otto, Sammy Kershaw, Phil Vassar and Juice Newton among others.
Lead vocalist Leigh is a country star who has been seen on “American Idol” Season 12 and 14 and is a Texaco Country Showdown State Winner and American Country Star finalist. She’s also performed the National Anthem at the PRCA Rodeo Finals, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the San Diego Padres. First 50 to show up at The Cave get free Pub Fest admission!
Plus there’s free appetizers and meet and greet. The remainder of the weekend includes free organized ride on Saturday, Friday night concert at The Cave featuring Los Lonely Boys, Big Bear Lake Pub Fest, tour viewing parties and more.
Post Time Trial May 19 reception features “Amgen Tour of California Legends” including Jens Voigt, Freddie Rodriguez, Kirstin Armstrong, Phil Liggett and others for photos and autographs at Marina Resort’s tent. Admission is free for those with two-night Big Bear stays and a limited number may be available for purchase.
Call (800) 424-4232 or visit www.bigbeartimetrial.com.