The Tour de France is not the only beautiful cycling event you could be watching on SBS. And if you missed our recent coverage of epic races like Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Nice the Tour of California lets you dive right in before the big dance around France in July.
And here's why:
1. Blessed be the froot loops - you can watch it LIVE while eating your brekky
That's right - no insomnia needed to imbibe on this cycling action. Save all your sleep for July.
And turn off Karl and Kochie and turn on Phil and Paul from Monday 14 - Sunday 20 May.
Now officially part of the WorldTour calendar, the Tour of California is live on SBS and streaming via On Demand and here at the following times (all AEST):
Monday 14 May: 0600 - 0900
Tuesday 15 May: 0600 - 0900
Wednesday 16 May: 0630 - 0900
Thursday 17 May: 0630 - 0900
Friday 18 May: 0630 - 0900
Saturday 19 May: 0700 - 0900
Sunday 20 May: 0500 - 0700
Relive how last year's race finished up:
2. Stunning vistas
Believe it or not, stunning scenery exists outside France and people race their bikes in it. And California's got bags and bags of it. Here are some shots from last year's race.
3. Quirky fans, places and place names
Sure there's no Col du Tourmalet or Alpe d'huez but this year's race visits some cool and/or quirky places like Long Beach, Santa Barbara, San Jose, Elk Grove, Folsom (yep, Johnny Cash's Folsom) and Lake Tahoe while names like Mt Baldy and Big Bear Lake are etched into the race's folklore.
And as the mankini is to the Tour de France, so is antler guy to the Tour of California. Apparently first spotted in 2009, we're pretty sure it's not the same guy who trots this out every year.
And there are loads of other fans who go to a lot of effort for the riders.
4. This guy
Young Aussie sprinting sensation Caleb Ewan is gearing up for a big July. The Tour of California offers the perfect chance to fine tune his finish and his sprint train before his debut at the Tour de France.
And he'll be up against:
4. These guys, and a showdown
And of course:
Expect a sprinter's showdown on stages 1, 5 and 7 with fast men Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan all lining up.
Kittel bested Sagan on stage 1 last year:
Sagan responded on stage 3:
Catch the 2018 Tour of California here on SBS and streaming via On Demand from Monday 14 - Sunday 20 May: