Heading north on interstate 5 from the San Fernando Valley, one rises over the Santa Susanna Mountains before descending quickly into the Santa Clarita Valley and the Stage 7 start in the City of Santa Clarita. Sited on the Santa Clara River, this community grew up being called Little Santa Clara. With a population of over 200,000 residents, it is not so tiny today. In fact, Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County and boasts a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors. As a crossroads community, Santa Clarita is also centrally-located to the rest of Southern California’s charms, from wine country to beach-side Winnebagos.
Like many California towns, Santa Clarita started with entrepreneurial dreams of gold, oil, and railroads. The area was once within the Rancho San Francisco, where gold was discovered in 1842 at the Oak of the Golden Dream. While the oak is said to still exist in Placerita Canyon State Park, the gold did not, and gold seekers instead followed their shovels north in 1848. Next came the railroad when San Francisco businessman Henry Mayo Newhall purchased the Rancho in the 1870s and laid the first railroad tracks between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Only then were the local towns of Saugus and Newhall founded as stops along the route. Newhall would go on to become the founding father of Santa Clarita and his name is prominent throughout the community. While the railroad was making inroads through the Valley, oil was being discovered in Pico Canyon five miles to the west. The successful operation piped 30 barrels a day to Newland and for the next century would operate as the first commercially successful strike in California and longest producing well in the world. Santa Clarita would incorporate as a town in 1987, but in between it took part in nearly every major industry California had to offer.
Santa Clarita today is a growing vibrant community that offers the excitement and thrills of a city larger and more established. Historical sites like the Mentryville town site, Pico Oil Well, and the Oak of the Golden Dream combine scenic hikes and historical legacies while the Melody Ranch Studio and the William Hart Museum evoke timeless images of the Old West as Hollywood’s original backlot where Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne filmed some of their best known works. To escape from the old west, Six Flags Magic Mountain is perhaps Santa Clarita’s most famous modern attraction. Situated on the site of the old Rancho, Magic Mountain is legendary in the minds of Southern Californians seeking thrills with family and friends. With a world of assortment, Magic Mountain is the nation’s foremost park for rollercoaster enthusiasts. It revolutionized the amusement park experience with a total of nineteen coasters - from kid’s classics to those that go vertical, stand, dangle, suspend, twist 360-degrees, loop at 70 miles-per-hour, and so much more.
In 2019, the Amgen Tour of California will depart Santa Clarita on the final stage, weaving through the mountains into Pasadena where a new champion will be crowned. With three stages taking place within sixty square miles, Santa Clarita is positioned to be the ideal base for following the crucial end to a roller coaster bike race. The Amgen TOC is no stranger to Santa Clarita, having finished or started here on nine previous occasions between 2007 and 2017. It is a town welcoming of cyclists with well-connected paths for both road and mountain bikers. With a world of possibilities, the Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM are proud to once again make Santa Clarita a gateway to the Yellow Jersey.