The Amgen Tour of California races through Monday. The second leg of the race was from Murrieta to the Palm Springs Tramway and passed through Mountain Center and Garner Valley. Sixteen teams of bikers zoomed through Mountain Center starting about 1:20 p.m. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

The Amgen Tour of California is in its eighth year. This is a professional bicycle race that is modeled after the Tour de France. This is an eight-day race that began in Escondido on May 12. After eight days of racing the race will finish in Santa Rosa, Calif., on May 19.

This year, 16 of the world’s top professional cycling teams will compete in the most challenging course that includes approximately 750 miles of scenic California highways and roadways. Racers move at about 25 to 30 miles per hour.

On Monday, the second leg of the race began in Murrieta and finished at the Palm Springs Tramway. As it proceeded along Highway 74, the road was closed to traffic in both directions.

Finishing Monday’s 124 miles, Team Jamis-Hagens Bermans took the lead to claim the Amgen Race Leader Jersey after the second leg. He finished 2 seconds ahead of the next race.

The first four riders of the Amgen Race make it up Highway 74 to its intersection with Highway 243 about 1:10 p.m. Monday, followed by their team cars. They were nearly 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the racers. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Dozens of racers head toward Garner Valley as they pass through Mountain Center. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Idyllwild Middle School students watch and support the Amgen racers. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Multiple team cars, motorcycles with photographers, California Highway Patrol, Riverside Sheriff’s Deputies and American Medical Response ambulances all helped ensure the safety of the Amgen race. Photo by Jenny Kirchner