By Maureen Robertson
Like a flash they came — and road — through Ramona today.
People lined Main Street in pockets, with most across from Town Hall in the 700 block of Main, where the theme from "Chariots of Fire" played from a loudspeaker.
Knowing the cyclists have to slow a bit before taking a turn, a pocket of people waited patiently at 10th and Main until the riders coming up State Route 78 made it.
A group of four came through just after noon, with the rest about 5 minutes behind.
An announcer said that three of the first four were Americans. One rode across the sprint line in front of Town Hall first.
The eight-day, nearly 750-mile Amgen Tour of California, which started at Broadway and Grand in Escondido at 11:15 a.m., whipped through Ramona’s downtown Main Street to Third, on to Old Julian Highway to SR-78 and Santa Ysabel, up to Palomar Mountain and back to Escondido.
The Escondido to Escondido stretch is 102.6 miles and includes approximately 11,000 feet of climbing.
Monday’s second stage goes from Murrieta to Hemet, down the curvy and spectacular Highway 74 into Palm Desert before finishing at the base station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
The race is set to conclude next Sunday in Santa Rosa.