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Tour Of California Begins Home Stretch In Bay Area

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - More than 100 professional cyclists were taking to the road Friday for a 20-mile trek through San Jose in the sixth stage of the 13th annual Amgen Tour of California, which will prompt some street closures in the city for much of the afternoon.

The cyclists began the 750-mile race up the California coast last Sunday in what is regarded as the largest cycling event in the country, according to the Amgen tour's website.

Jens Voigt of Germany won the fifth stage that ended Thursday near San Luis Obispo. The race ends in Santa Rosa this Sunday.

The San Jose leg of the race commences at the IBM Silicon Valley Lab at 555 Bailey Ave. in the Almaden area of south San Jose.

California's Biggest Bicycle Race Rolls Through Bay Area

The entire 20-mile route through San Jose will be closed to auto traffic for racers from noon until 4 p.m., according to San Jose police.

The route moves west on Bailey Avenue then heads south onto McKean Road, then to Uvas Road, Oak Glen Avenue and Willow Spring Road, then turns north on Hale Avenue to Santa Teresa Boulevard.

The cyclists then take a right back onto Bailey, a left to Malech Road and head east on Metcalf Road and finish up at the Santa Clara County Motorcycle Park at 300 Metcalf Road.

"It's basically the strongest rider over this particular course that's going to come out on top," said Chuck Hodge, the Tour's Technical Director.

The California Highway Patrol will accompany the cyclists and make every effort to assist motorists, residents and businesses along the route, police said.

The U.S. Highway 101 on- and off-ramps to Bailey Avenue will also be shut off to traffic, police said.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., about 220 amateur riders, including the chief executives of 23 Silicon Valley companies, rode a 19.6 miles of the route to raise about $20,000 for anti-obesity awareness, said Steve Wright, spokesman for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

2013 marked the first year the Amgen Tour would finish in the Bay Area. The final stage is Sunday, in Santa Rosa.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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