Crews Prepare Gibraltar Road for Amgen

Gibraltar Road (Amgen photo)

Source: City of Santa Barbara

Crews are working hard to repave the City’s section of Gibraltar Road before the AMGEN Tour of California on May 14. Measure C funds have made it possible to replace old storm drain culverts, and widen and repave the road. Crews hope to finish their work by May 10.

The official announcement is below:

2018 Amgen Tour of California May 14th
Stage 2 – Spectator Guide Ventura to Gibraltar Road

With the newly paved section of Gibraltar Rd. completed in 2015, the ability to finish a stage of the Amgen Tour of California on Gibraltar became a reality for 2016 and again in 2018. As many of you that have ridden your bike or driven your car to the finish area, you have probably asked “How are they going to put a finish in such a small area?” Good question. The answer is “It is not going to be easy and it is not going to be a typical finish.”

There just isn’t a lot of room on top for our typical infrastructure. Missing will be: awards stage, press conference, TV compound, Lifestyle Festival, parking, and several hospitality tents. Did we mention parking? While this will certainly be a challenging stage for the riders and our production crew that is building the finish area, this stage will also present some challenges for our fans. Access to Gibraltar Rd. past El Cielito Rd. is going to be limited to local residents and some limited race staff. There will be a checkpoint at this intersection.

The reality of Gibraltar Rd. is that there are not that many parking areas where cars can get all four tires completely off the pavement. While there are some larger pullouts, they will be used for race infrastructure. You may see some shuttle buses on Gibraltar, but they will be used for the race staff, media, and hospitality guests. There will be no shuttle service for the public.

The route on the lower elevations of Gibraltar provides a great chance to watch the race on some steep sections with the bonus of some spectacular views of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. In some areas, you will be able to see the riders climb through some switchbacks and then a few moments later, they will be racing past your position. There are other benefits of watching the race from the lower sections of Gibraltar: the walk or ride is not that long and you will be able to get off the mountain much faster than if you are further up the climb. Please do not head down the hill until you see the end of the race go past you. This will be a CHP SUV that has “END OF CONVOY” signs.

Please respect the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County roads. Please refrain from marking the road surface and use the Porta Johns that will be place along the road for your convenience. As with any wilderness area, please plan on packing out anything you bring with you to watch the race. There will be no water or food available. Medical response teams will patrol Gibraltar Rd. Please be aware that cell service is limited.

Here are some important timing points:

  • El Camino Cielo will be closed from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM east of Painted Cave (except for local residents and workers needing access)
  • Gibraltar Rd will close for local residents between 2:15 PM and 4:00 PM for downhill traffic.
  • The race will reach CA-192 and El Cielito at 3:05 PM. Uphill traffic on Gibraltar for local residents will close at 2:30 PM. Local residents will be able to follow the end of the race to their homes. Estimated time for the end of the race to make the turn onto El Cielito is 3:30 PM.
  • Aside from local traffic having access to Gibraltar, their will be no other vehicle traffic allowed.
  • Cyclists and people walking to Gibraltar will have unlimited access to the route until the riders are approaching them. Please obey CHP instructions to move to the side of the road. You will need to be outside of the fencing the last 300 meters leading to the finish.
  • Emergency vehicles will have full access to the course at all times.

For additional information, please visit or call 888-777-7517 Email us at 

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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