Stage 5 - Santa Barbara to Santa ClaritaStage Presented By
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May 14, 2015 - Stage 5
With warm breezes coming off the beach across from the start line, it will be just as difficult to leave Santa Barbara as it was in 2008 when the riders took the same route into Santa Clarita. Winding their way through picturesque Montecito and Carpinteria, the riders will be getting their legs ready for two short but steep KOMs as they approach Lake Casitas. A fast descent down Highway 150 will take them alongside the lake and into Ojai. Following another KOM up Dennison Grade, the race will return to the charming town of Santa Paula, the base of Balcom Canyon looms just a few miles away.
For many local riders, Balcom Canyon is just too steep and imposing a climb to even attempt. Walking up the top section is the only option for many. This is a unique climb where the riders can easily see the KOM from the start of the climb. Crowd estimates have been as high as 5,000 fans. Definitely a great place to watch the race come by… slowly.
Following a "white-knuckle" descent of Grimes Canyon, the route heads through the orange groves near the small town of Piru, and the race starts its 13-mile eastward push on Highway 126 toward Santa Clarita. A prevailing tailwind should help keep the race together and treat the crowd in Santa Clarita to another massive field sprint on perfect wide roads.
The start along the beach in Santa Barbara has long been a fan favorite. The city has guaranteed great weather for the race. You can easily drive to the finish in Santa Clarita to catch a massive sprint. You would probably need to skip the start and definitely the finish, if you want to join the party and large crowds on the Balcolm Canyon climb outside on Santa Paula. Get there early!