AUBURN (CBS13) — Nearly 10,000 people lined the streets of Auburn for the Amgen Tour of California the past two years.
Now that foot traffic won’t be here and stores like Atown Bikes will lose a lot of a business — a devastating thing to happen to a small business in a small city.
Duke Jay, the owner of Atown Bikes, is upset Amgen put the brakes on returning to Auburn in 2012 and is worried about the effect it will have on his shop.
“It was such a boost for us,” bike shop owner Duke Jay told CBS13′s Ben Sosenko. “We had so many people out here. We passed out like 300 to 400 business cards and actually had a lot of repair business come in after the Amgen.”
The Amgen Tour of California is the country’s largest bicycle race and rode through Auburn the past two years. With just over 13,000 people living here, the population of the city nearly doubles during the race, with fans taking advantage of what the city has to offer.
“They’re here of course for Amgen, but all that energy and excitement, yeah, they get into the shops, they eat in our restaurants,” said Bruce Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.
Cosgrove said he’s disappointed but isn’t surprised that the race won’t be stopping in Auburn next year. He said three straight years would have been a lot to ask. The race won’t go through anywhere in the Sacramento region next year.
But people in Auburn were hoping to again see the best cyclists in the world pedal down their streets.
“The whole community is saddened,” Auburn resident John Reeves said. “We’re trying to get as many companies and the economy rolling.”
The Amgen sign remains up in Auburn, and so does the hope for people here that after taking a year off, the race will return.