AEG, the owner and producer of the Amgen Tour of California reiterated its interest in returning to Big Bear Lake, possibly as early as 2017, for a future Time Trial stage. “Big Bear Lake is a very important partner for the Amgen Tour of California. We have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with the City, as we have hosted three stages in the event’s 10 year history. The community support, spectacular scenery and spectator interest make Big Bear Lake an ideal location” stated Kristin Klein, President Amgen Tour of California and Executive Vice President of AEG Sports.
Stage 5 of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California was set to take place in Big Bear Lake for the individual Time Trial and was scheduled for an epic stage with all preparations completed and in place. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to send a very unusual May snowstorm to the Big Bear area, creating hazardous conditions and cold temperatures which necessitated the Time Trial stage to be relocated to Santa Clarita for rider safety.
AEG Sports released its 2016 Amgen Tour of California host cities today and Big Bear Lake is not included on the list due to previous race plans and commitments. However, Klein indicated that Big Bear Lake is “very much in play” for a 2017 stage. “Big Bear Lake is proud to be a host city for the Amgen Tour of California, but as a tourist based economy, it is in our best interest to host the event on or close to a weekend to maximize our exposure and tourist opportunities” stated Jeff Mathieu, Big Bear Lake’s City Manager. “We are working closely with Amgen Tour of California officials to select a future date that achieves this goal.”
While the community awaits the return of the Amgen Tour of California, professional and recreational road cycling events are again being planned in and around Big Bear for 2016. The five stage Redlands Bicycle Classic, the oldest and most prestigious domestic event on the US National Race Calendar, is once again in discussions to host it’s Time Trial stage in Big Bear in April and the weeklong Big Bear Cycling Festival and 7th Annual Tour de Big Bear will host over 2000 recreational riders in August, 2016.
Craig Smith, President Big Bear Cycling and the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the Amgen Tour of California stated, “We would like to thank our sponsors, volunteers and the community for their support, enthusiasm and desire to host our stage again. Big Bear Lake has become the Cycling Capital of Southern California and we remain very excited about professional and recreational road cycling in our community and the hopeful return of a 2017 Amgen Tour of California stage return shows that Big Bear Lake is an important home for professional cycling in Southern California.”
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