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Free Public Events Build Excitement In San Diego For AMGEN Tour

Photo caption: Bicycle racer Pablo Lozano, 13, shows excitement to watch the AMGEN Tour of C...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Bicycle racer Pablo Lozano, 13, shows excitement to watch the AMGEN Tour of California organizers film a promotional video at Balboa Park, Dec. 15, 2015.

The first in a series of public events leading up to the start of California’s premier bicycle race began Tuesday in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. The world-class eight-day race AMGEN Tour of California begins on May 15 with its start in San Diego.

Race organizers invited fans to watch the filming of a video promoting the road race.

The same race teams that will compete in the big European tours, including the Tour de France, showed up to test their metal at the AMGEN Tour of California.

Tour spokesperson Rana Kennedy said the excitement will be so contagious San Diegans will be hooked on cycling.

“And that speed going by you... It’s enough to drive somebody off the couch and into the street to see something like this," Kennedy said.

Young road racer Pablo Lozano came to the taping dressed in his best cycling kit with his blue Colnago road bike in tow. The 13-year-old said it's inspiring to see his heroes ride in person.

“Just to see them ride by, I go nuts,” Lozano said.

The next Tour of California fan event is a hill-climbing challenge, called a “King of the Mountain." The public is invited to come out Saturday and race along a 6.8-mile section of the tour's 100-mile plus long course. Riders will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area's parking lot at 1898 Honey Springs Road in Jamul.

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