Published on May 10, 2019 by Tom Owen

The Amgen Tour of California is not just a World Tour event, it’s a world class experience. Cycling fans from all over the world travel to the Golden State to take in the race and turn it into a unique vacation experience they never forget for years to come. When you come to Amgen Tour of California, you’re watching some of the best bike racing in the world, making new friends and taking in the incomparable California atmosphere along the way. Read on for our take on how to watch, optimal viewing areas, what to expect and more.



Where/how to watch? 

Depending on what stage(s) you chose to watch, there are plenty of places to get the perfect shot along the route. One word of caution though, never stand to close to the barriers to take a selfie, or extend appendages to snap a shot when the riders are coming. This past year at the Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez stage, a spectator’s camera strap hooked around an attacking Vincenzo Nibali’s bike, taking him off his machine and out of contention for the stage win. Wherever you chose to view the race, be aware of how close (and how fast) the riders are traveling past you.

Another great viewing point, no matter what stage you watch, are the intermediate sprints and king of the mountain summits. Watch as the peloton hunt for elusive points toward the green Visit California sprint and Lexus king and queen of the mountain jersey. It’s here where you can watch a race between the race unfold before your eyes.

No matter what the stage, whether it be a mountain summit up Mt. Baldy or sprint finish into the iconic Rose Bowl, the finish line is always a popular place to watch the race unfold. However, consider traveling to the start of a stage to not only take some fantastic shots of the riders on the start line, but also mingle amongst the pros while they prepare for the stage. Cycling is one of those unique sports where you can see your heroes up close and personal, and maybe even get a picture with them. The stage start is also a good place to check out the vendors and festival activities.

If you’re at the finish, make sure to stick around for the podium presentations for stage interviews with riders, opportunities to see them interact with the crowd and maybe even have a chance to catch the bouquet.



What to bring

We love it when our fans share pictures of their Amgen Tour of California experience on social media, so don’t forget your camera or phone. Please tag us at @AmgenTOC or with the official hashtag #amgentoc to share your memories. Also, bring your bike. Plenty of fans make plans to ride the route before the pros take to the road, enjoy some of the wineries and restaurants along the way and meet new fans from around the world.

The Amgen Tour of California encourages cycling fans to bring their children, no matter what the age. There are plenty of activities in the festival expo and in the start and finish cities for children to capture the love of cycling and celebrate it with their peers.



Watching from afar

Can’t make it to the Amgen Tour of California this year? Don’t fret, there are plenty of ways to experience the drama of race day while staying connected with other fans. It’s almost just as good as being there. First, download the official Amgen Tour of California app through our website, Apple or Google Play store. There you will find free access to live race coverage, results, photos, daily recaps, video replays and so much more for both the men’s and women’s events.


NBCSN and NBC will also broadcast the men’s race during the week live for the final two hours of racing.


Broadcast times (all PDT)

Stage 1 - 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Stage 2 - 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Stage 3 - 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Stage 4 - 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Stage 5 – 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Stage 6 – 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Stage 7 – 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.


5/23/19 Women's Race Recap – 9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


You can also find tons of valuable race information via our official website (www.amgentourofcalifornia), live updates and behind the scenes extras on all our social media pages.



About the Author

Tom Owen

Tom Owen is a cycling writer who has worked with some of the cycling world's biggest media brands, covering everything from the top levels of the professional sport to bikepacking adventures in the Balkans.