For the first time, the Amgen Tour of California, the biggest cycling race in America, came to San Diego, and local businesses are benefiting.
The cyclists wrapped up their 108 mile loop around San Diego Sunday to continue their week-long tour north, finishing in Sacramento.
The racers biked through Balboa Park, the Gaslamp, Coronado, among other places and brought in big business with them.
“There’s diehard fans who keep up with it so they're bringing hotel business and restaurants and stuff,” Bike Revolution employee Matt Guerrero said.
Bike Revolution in downtown has already seen an increase in customers because of the tour. Some customers have rented bikes to follow the 18 world- class teams.
“I'm just super excited to come and see them ride on the roads that I ride myself,” cyclist Jim Fogelman told NBC 7.
Organizers say the Amgen Tour attracts more than 170 competitors and two million spectators.
Meron Andom and her crew drove down here from Los Angeles to see their favorite Eritrean cyclist, Daniel Teklehaimanot.
“He's our king of the mountain and we're here to support him,” Andom told NBC 7.
After such a great vacation in San Diego, Andom says she’ll visit again.
“San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities…so you can't help it but come," she said.
“Not only does it mean people are spending money and getting tourism in San Diego, Amgen does great things for health care research and with cycling being such big thing with a healthy lifestyle the two go hand and hand,” Fogelman explained.
Organizers estimate the tour will generate a total of $100 million for California.
Ed Clancy, chair for the San Diego organizing committee that is working with the San Diego Tourism Authority says the Tourism Authority should have official figures on how much money the tour generates in San Diego by the end of June.