The eighth and final stage of the fourth annual Tour began with riders, including U.S. cycling legend Lance Amstrong, climbing 6,140-foot Palomar Mountain.
The field includes Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, and Murrieta-based Floyd Landis, whose own 2007 win in the Tour de France was stripped over allegations of doping. Landis won the Tour of California in 2006, and the race winding up today is his first since his suspension.
Levi Leipheimer, a 35-year-old resident of Santa Rosa, entered the final stage wearing the leader's yellow jersey.
The 96.8-mile San Diego leg takes riders from Rancho Bernardo along
Highland Valley Road north along Valley Center Road toward Palomar Mountain and Lake Henshaw and back to a finish in downtown Escondido.
The mountain section includes an 11.7-mile climb of more than 4,000 feet with 21 switchbacks.
Frank Schleck of Luxembourg and American Jason McCartney were the leaders of the individual stage nearly two hours after the start.