The lone Los Angeles County stage of the Tour of California kicked off Monday morning with cyclists racing 92.3 miles from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita.
The stage began at midday at 1017 Mission St., near Meridian Avenue and concluded Monday afternoon in front of the Santa Clarita Public Library, where a finish line festival was held.
The stage is filled with long gradual climbs, including on Angeles Crest Highway and Big Tujunga and Little Tujunga canyons in the Angeles National Forest. Stage 2 finishes with a long flat sprint in downtown Newhall.
On Tuesday, the riders tackle Stage 3 from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County. The route takes riders along Pacific Coast Highway and through Oxnard and Ventura before turning up Gibraltar Road for a mountain road finish above Santa Barbara.
Peter Sagan of Slovakia, the race's defending champion, entered Stage 2 with a four-second lead over American Michael Sheehan and Wouter Wippert of the Netherlands. Sagan won the eight-stage, 792-mile race's initial stage Sunday, completing the 108-mile stage that began and ended in the Mission Bay area in four hours, 20 minutes, 41 seconds.