Ventura approves bid to host Tour of California women's race overall start

Southern California city sets aside funds, asks race to consider it for stage 1 start

The Ventura City Council voted on Monday to approve sending a letter to the Amgen Tour of California asking to be considered for hosting the start of the 2019 women's race on May 16, according to a report on VCStar.com.

The council also approved setting aside $177,000 for the 2019 event, up from $77,000 in 2018 when the city hosted the start for stage 2 of the men's race that finished on Gibraltar Road. The website also reported that the city hopes to host the finish of the men's fifth stage - which would leave from Pismo Beach - on the same day as the women's overall start in Ventura.

Before the vote, councillors sought information from the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau about what kind of return the city was getting on its investment, and another councillor asked city officials to try and negotiate a "better deal" with the race, according to the VCStar.com report.

The advantages of hosting an overall start or overall finish, tourism bureau CEO Marlyss Auster told the council, is that the riders, support staff and the many other people involved with race arrive days early, adding up to more money spent in the local economy. Post-race festivities add to the economy when hosting a finish.

"It lingers," Auster told the council, according to VCStar.com. "There's a celebration that goes on afterwards."

Canyon-SRAM rider Alexis Ryan, a California native, was on hand for the meeting, telling councillors the race provides a "fantastic opportunity to expose Ventura to the world." Ventura is on the Pacific coast about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Ryan was second to Arlenis Sierra (Astana) during the final stage in Sacramento last year. Her sister, Kendall Ryan (Tibco-SVB), won stage 1 last year in Elk Grove and led the race for a day. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) won the women's overall in Sacramento, and Team Sky's Egan Bernal took the men's title.

In 2019, the men's race begins on May 12 and runs through May 18. The women's race starts on May 16 and ends May 18. Both are UCI WorldTour events.

 

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