Imagine thousands of screaming fans, jam packed streets and world class athletes cycling down the streets at unimaginable speeds.
Now imagine all this, happening right here in Turlock.
Last Tuesday, the Turlock City Council provided letters to the Turlock Convention Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce in support of the application to host a stage event for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California.
The Amgen Tour, more commonly known as a the Tour of California, is an eight-day race that spans 750 miles throughout various cities in California and draws in an estimated two million spectators every year.
Last year, despite being asked by the race’s selection committee to submit a bid, the tour bypassed Turlock and the entire county. The decision left Turlock and other hopeful Central Valley cities looking to host the race, completely out of the picture.
According to Interim Assistant City Manager Ron Reid, the race will be possibly heading back to the Valley, giving Turlock a real shot at hosting the prestigious race.
“We’re hopeful that the route committee would bring the race close to us, and if we don't submit we won't know,” said City Manager Roy Wasden.
If selected, Turlock would need to muster up to $100,000 to cover the cost of the event, including street closures, clean up and security. The costs, however, would be essentially made up by the revenue generated by the thousands of spectators coming to watch the event.
According to estimates by the CVB, the return for being a “start city” for the tour, ballpark around three dollars for every dollar spent. Being a “finish city” site can prove to be even more lucrative, with a return of six dollars for every dollar spent.
Funding for the event would be provided from private sponsorships and community donations, according to Reid.
Along with drawing huge swarms of crowds, the event could also put Turlock in the international spotlight, as last year's race drew in viewers from 216 countries with 28 hours of nonstop coverage.
Turlock resident and amateur cyclist Stephen Lenz said the possibility of the tour coming through isn’t just an exciting opportunity for the city, but also for its biking enthusiasts.
“Having professional athletes come through Turlock would be an incredible experience,” said Lenz.
The 9th presentation of the race is scheduled from May 11-18, 2014.