This year's Amgen Tour of California promised to be a special edition when it was announced that the Stage 3 finish would be at the top of the legendary local Santa Barbara climb of Gibraltar Rd. Something the public had begged for, for years in fact, but wasn't approved by the tour until after the entire climb had been repaved in the summer of 2015. The last full paving job on the road took place back in the 1940's, needless to say it was long overdue.
With the help of local photographer Jeff Clark, my boys at Stinner Frameworks and the crew from Cadence Collection, and plenty of other friends, made a plan to have a short pre-ride and then post up at what we felt was the most optimal viewing party location. Needless to say it came together in near perfect fashion! Turnout for the pre-ride was more than double what we expected and Gibraltar road was lined with over 1,000 total spectators from top to bottom. It was truly a spectacle of grand scale.
Watching pros race up our local climb, seeing friends from near and far, meeting some new friends and connecting with a few folks I've only known through the 'stagram all came together into something I won't soon forget. Thanks to all my friends that made it out for the pre-ride and everyone who did anything at all to contribute to this day that will be permanently etched into our local cycling history indefinitely.
- CJ Covarrubias