The Amgen Tour of California has seen cycling luminaries of the like of Peter Sagan and Sir Bradley on the top step of the podium in recent years.
The 2017 version kicking off on 11 May has 12 WorldTour teams in the field. On 18 May's Stage 5 the pros will race up the 15 hairpins to Mt Baldy following in the path of the amateurs of L'Etape California.
Josh Mott, formerly of this parish and now living in Northern California, was there to rack up his fourth different Etape location.
"As a recreational riders there are not too many times when you experience this feeling on the bike; the feeling of true exhaustion. After the final feed station, where riders gulped down coke and water as they lay in the shade, it was time for the final ramp up to Mt Baldy."
Officially branded the L'Étape California By Le Tour De France, the Californian event saw 600 riders tackle the challenge. That was considerably less than the 1,500 maximum and there is a clear intention to grow far beyond that and towards the 15,000 or so participants at the original L'Etape du Tour each year.
It certainly set a challenge with 3,350 metres of climbing in just 129km. This year's Étape du Tour from Briancon to the Col d'Izoard in the Alps is almost the same amount of climbing (3,500m) in 178km.
Ryan, a keen cyclist, has first-hand experience of L'Étape from riding the 2015 edition in France.
"I have participated in over 100 running, triathlon, and cycling races throughout my life and riding in Étape du Tour 2015 was a unique experience different than all the rest. Never before have I ridden with so many riders spread across the full width of the road - all of which were very motived to make it to the finish despite the wide range in abilities and age.
"I was smiling throughout the entire day and there was a sense of relief and satisfaction for making it over three large climbs ending at the ski area of La Toussuire," he added.
"Watching Nibali fly up the climbs later in the week to a solo victory was the icing on the cake - the fact that he shaved off two hours on my time made me realise that I should keep my job as an event organiser."
Men's Amgen Tour of California 2017 route
Stage 1: Sacramento, 167.5km
Stage 2: Modesto to San Jose, 143km
Stage 3: Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, 183km
Stage 4: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, 161.5km
Stage 5: Ontario to Mt. Baldy, 125.5km
Stage 6: Big Bear Lake time trial, 23km
Stage 7: Mountain High to Pasadena, 124km