If you like bike racing, meeting famous faces, meeting teams, getting a real insight into how a team operates, enjoying VIP access and experiences along the race route, seeing the amazing local areas of the Sunshine coast, having lots of fun and not having to worry about all the details – join us on our spectator only fully guided trip to the Tour of California!
Join us to see 6 stages of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California, for an adrenalin-filled 10 days, in stunning Sacramento & South Lake Tahoe, Surf’s up in Pismo Beach & Morro Bay, Mount Baldy and Pasadena! Luxury accommodation in 3 different settings.
VIP Race Access
Our VIP Spectator Trip features the following Amgen Experiences:
Access to the Michelob Ultra VIP Club Start
– Light snacks, beverages, exclusive course-side race-viewing and watch the riders sign in.
Access to the ‘Team Paddock’
– Where the teams congregate before the race, open to the public. Mix and mingle in the team area, seeing the mechanics prep the bikes, the cyclists passing by to sign-on and the call to the start line.
Access to the Michelob VIP Hospitality Tent at the Finish
– 2 hours of live race coverage, fully catered, open bar and prime viewing location.
VIP Full Finish Line Experience
– This is the same as a VIP arrival - with extras! Visit the broadcasters’ compound, see cycling celebrities prior to the awards ceremony and get a seat at the stage Press Conference.
– You’ll see this a number of times and it’s opposite the finish line every day. Sponsors’ tents plus food & drink.
Pro Team Visit
Unique to Thomson Bike Tours, we offer an extraordinary opportunity to visit one of the top pro team’s hotel on their rest day. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are our official partners and for every guest that travels with us, we make a donation to put people on bikes in South Africa.
Stage 1 – VIP Start & Finish in Sacramento
Stage 2 – Race-Viewing, South Lake Tahoe
Stage 4 – VIP Full Finish Line Experience, Morro Bay
Stage 5 – Race-Viewing, Pismo Start
Stage 6 – VIP Finish, Mount Baldy
Stage 7 – Race-Viewing Finish, Pasadena
Your Trip Leader: Jacinta
We can’t talk about our Spectator Trips without discussing the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of your guide, Jacinta. A true pro, Jacinta’s wild personality and boundless energy make for a truly exceptional experience. Her connections will get you the ultimate insider access and her antics will have you howling with laughter. Simply the most fun you can have at a bike race.
Welcome to California!
Our staff will meet you at Sacramento Airport. From the Airport we’ll transfer to our hotel opposite Capitol State Park, where we will be staying for the next 4 nights. After checking-in, we’ll have lunch and you’ll get a chance to meet your fellow Amgen Tour of California fans. Following lunch, we’ll have a short orientation meeting to run through the plans for the upcoming trip. In the afternoon we will explore State Capitol Park, home to beautiful trees from all over California and many monuments, dedicated to Vietnam Veterans & Fire Fighters. We’ll have a tour of the Capitol Museum. The building serves as both a Museum and the State’s working seat of Government. We will experience California’s rich history and witness their modern lawmaking process.
Team Hotel Visit & Old Sacramento
Team Visit With Dimension Data & Qhubeka
Thomson Spectator Tours are partners with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and today we will visit the team hotel! We will have an exclusive behind the scenes visit on their rest day! A pro Team Executive will give you the amazing insight into how a pro team works as well as the charity they help fund. You can see the team bus, the bikes and equipment and be let in on some team secrets. If you’re lucky we’ll even see the team head off on their training ride! It’s an absolute favorite on our Spectators’ Trip - a real VIP experience giving unparalleled access and amazing memories.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit Old Sacramento and learn about the Gold Rush, have an underground tour and step back in time in the old streets, it’s very atmospheric, plus there’s a surprise photo in store!
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 1
VIP Viewing Start and Finish in Sacramento
We don’t have far to travel today when we’ll witness the thrill of a start & finish, almost opposite our hotel! Firstly, we will have access to the VIP area providing us with light snacks and drinks where we will get a chance to see the rider sign-in. They arrive 1.5 hours before the race, in an area accessible to the public. Walk amongst the team buses and watch the bikes being prepared, plus see the cyclists heading off to sign in! Watch the cyclists head off, maybe head back to the hotel or stay in the VIP tent, from where we’ll see the finish! Enjoy free food and drinks and live coverage as the riders cross the line. What a start to our trip!
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 2
Stage Finish in South Lake Tahoe
Today we are heading up through pine tree covered mountain roads to South Lake Tahoe, where you’ll find the largest alpine Lake in North America; deep and wide, bluer than blue, and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains! The drive itself is beautiful and the location is stunning. We will have a chance to stop by the lake and eat lunch. The town of Heavenly hosts the finish and we will stop near Bijou. Today you can choose where to watch and Jacinta has all the information to pick the perfect location to view the race. There’s an uphill finish and you can choose to stand on the road to cheer the cyclists as they pass or take a short shuttle ride to the finish line and watch them cross to victory.
Transfer to Pismo Beach
Today we have quite a long transfer, but we will take the scenic Highway 101, which takes us through changing terrain down the West Coast of California. Our destination is Pismo Beach, a colorful surf town on the coast, buzzing with life with its cool shops and bars. Our hotel is right by the beach, in the very heart of the resort. The pier is a moment’s walk away. There is a rooftop bar and restaurant and we’ll arrive in time to drink cocktails as the sun sinks beyond the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 4
VIP Ultimate Finish Line Experience
You experienced this in Sacramento but now it’s super VIP time! First, we have a short journey to neighboring Morro Bay; a beautiful seaside town, home to sunbathing seals, a quaint harbor, and the best clam chowder around. We’ll take a small boat ride around the harbor and be given the history and news from our surfer captain, before returning to the dock where you will have the chance to find your own lunch at one of the many fish restaurants. After lunch we will head up to the finish line and VIP area and today, we’ve privatized the experience as we get to head into the broadcasters´ compound and meet our favorites - Phil and Jensie! We’ll get to see the press area and where the winners are presented - lots of photo opportunities! Thomson will rule the finish and we can’t wait.
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 5
Stage Start Pismo Beach
In the morning we’ll head straight to the team busses and see all the teams sign in and prepare for the day’s racing! Pismo Beach hosts the start, and rumor has it, it’s right outside our hotel! By now you’ll be old hands at this and probably on first name terms with the teams! Stroll through the coaches and wave off your favorites. Once the teams head off and pack up, we’ll do the same and take Highway 101 South towards Los Angeles and Pasadena, our base for the next 3 nights. It’s a 4 hour journey but get ready for some serious views as we pass along the coast, palm tree-lined avenues and when we arrive at our amazing hotel - the best in town - there’s a rooftop pool with views of City Hall. A stunning hangout for the next 3 nights!
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 6
VIP Finish Area Mount Baldy
Costumes abound, Hollywood legends! Today we are heading up the famous Mount Baldy! We’ll take our own coach to Baldy then shuttle up to the VIP area. We’ll have access to the Michelob tents, live coverage for 2 hours and free bar. We’ll head up early so we can experience the mountain in true style and if you want to dress up - this is the day! Hollywood in our sites, we will pay tribute to the legends, so get your thinking caps on! Everyone loves a mountain day and Thomson spectators have a reputation for being the best-dressed on the hill! Can we make the news again? We’ll cheer the cyclists as they near the finish and have a blast of a day!
LIVE Race-Viewing: Stage 7
Stage Finish in Pasadena
We carefully choose our hotels and today we are not far from the finish! Have a free morning exploring the beauty of Pasadena town or hang by the pool on the rooftop. The race will come in very close to the hotel so you don’t have far to go to watch, you can choose to line the streets or walk to the finish and see who will be crowned winner of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California! We’ll have a meal in the hotel in the evening to round off an amazing trip!
Until Next Time!
Unfortunately, our Amgen Tour of California Experience must come to an end. We hope to see you back in the future. Join us on a Thomson Spectator Trip to La Vuelta, World Cycling Champs, Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, or the Tour de France.