Tour of California includes Merced

As many of you may know, or not, the Tour of California has added a couple of new starts and stops to its format this year. Stage 4 of the country's premier cycling event will start in Merced and end in Clovis on Feb. 18. The stage will feature a "King of the Mountain" points competition as riders make their way down Highway 140, Highway 49 and Crane Valley Road.

Here's what the Tour of California Web site has to say about Merced:

"Located in the heart of California, Merced is a vital community bursting with promise and opportunities as their business and industrial climate fosters growth on the next wave of economic development. Proud of being a family-friendly community with quiet residential areas, Merced’s kinetic downtown is highlighted by the historic Merced Theatre, robust business and industrial districts, and the newest University of California campus. Merced’s spacious parks and nearby mountains, foothills, rivers and lakes provide a wealth of recreational possibilities."

“The Amgen Tour is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city, our residents and our neighbors at UC Merced. We welcome the national and international exposure as the cyclists, their crews and the many fans come to Merced.”

— Mayor Ellie Wooten