It takes a village to build an Amgen Tour of California stage – Orange County Register

BIG BEAR LAKE — Imagine moving every item from house to house every day. Then think about repeating it for seven consecutive days.

That is what Amgen Tour of California director Eric Smith has done since Sunday, and he and his team will complete Saturday in Pasadena.

“The thing to remember is that we bring everything,” Smith said. “We do not need anything, except water to fill buckets. That includes our own power.”

Moving a race stage each day can be a logistical nightmare. Smith’s crew of four teams must set up railings at the start and finish line, create stages at both places and have it all done before cycling fans arrive for the day’s activities.

“There’s a lot of skilled people,” he said. “It is like 3-D chess. It is remarkable.”

When Smith is done Saturday afternoon, he will have booked 950 hotel rooms, moved 1,600 people each day, fed all of those people, rented 450 cars, be in charge of two airplanes and a helicopter and have 20 trucks carrying gear from Big Bear Lake to Mountain High in Wrightwood and to downtown Pasadena.

He said that the ATOC booked its 100,000 hotel room this year.

He has a team in place just for the starting area and a crew for just the finish line. Other crews began setting up tents in Pasadena on Friday night.

Smith works with the Tour de France logistics, too.

“Compared to this, that is absolutely staggering” he said.


Cycling fans should leave early Saturday for the projected 3:45 p.m. finish on Green Street in downtown Pasadena front of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

There are three other Pasadena-area events on Saturday, not including racing at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.

Drawing an equally large crowd will those attending the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl. Rose Bowl parking lots open at 2:30 p.m. and the Rose Bowl is suggesting off-site parking.

It is the annual Jet Propulsion Laboratory open house in La Canada, which ends at 5 p.m. The race course happens to pass by the Foothill…

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