SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Cyclists in the Tour of California will race 91 miles from Santa Clarita to Pasadena Saturday, with 2012 Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins of Britain holding a 30-second lead over Australian Rohan Dennis.
The seventh stage in the eight-stage, approximately 720-mile race that began Sunday in Sacramento is scheduled to begin at 11:40 a.m. at the Town Center Mall. The field will then head to Acton, 15.7 miles away, along Vasquez Canyon Road, Sierra Highway, Sand Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road.
From Acton, the riders will race 8.9 miles to Millcreek Summit, then cycle 6.2 miles along Upper Big Tujunga Road.
After passing the Mount Wilson Observatory, the cyclists will begin a steep 16.1-mile descent along Angeles Forest Highway into La Canada Flintridge, then pass the Rose Bowl and cross the Colorado Street Bridge.
The stage will conclude with three laps of a three-mile circuit that includes many well-known Pasadena streets, including Colorado Boulevard.
The portion of the Angeles Crest Highway the cyclists will ride on is expected to be closed to motorized vehicles by noon. Updates will be provided on message boards on the Foothill (210) Freeway.
Scheduled detours and traffic delays in Pasadena were scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. and end by 4 p.m. to accommodate the race.
Wiggins, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, added two seconds to his lead in Friday's 94.9-mile stage from Santa Clarita to the Mountain High ski resort in Wrightwood, which was won by Colombian Esteban Chaves in four hours, nine minutes, 13 seconds.
"I did not think it was possible (to win) until the final 2 kilometers," the 24-year-old Chaves, who is seventh overall, 2:39 behind Wiggins, said. "This is a special win for me to defeat guys like Tom Danielson and finish ahead of Wiggins. This is a dream come true."
Wiggins was fourth in the stage in 4:10:06. Dennis was seventh in 4:10:08. American Lawson Craddock moved into third, 1:48 behind Wiggins, with a 10th-place finish in 4:10:29. Tiago Machado of Portugal dropped one spot in the overall standings into fourth after finishing 17th in 4:10:59.
The stage began at Main Street and Market Street, then went though Green Valley, Leona Valley and Palmdale. The field then rode 12 miles to Mt. Emma, then began the approach to the finish, concluding the stage with by racing 11.4 miles on state Route 2, then making a 180-degree turn on Table Mountain Road for a 1.2-mile climb to the finish.
The race will conclude Sunday with a 76.1-mile circuit race beginning and ending in Thousand Oaks, with the 21-mile circuit passing through Westlake Village and Agoura Hills.
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