The "2014 Chico Stage Race" is underway.
More than 400 riders will take part in the event, which spans Butte and Glenn counties in four "stages" or races.
It culminates in the Chico Downtown Criterium on Sunday.
Michael Painter is Race Director, "Our professional field is absolutely full. We can't fit any more people into it ... it's a 110 rider strong field. We have people in the tour of California, and people that have biked in Europe. It's going to be quite the spectacle."
Friday night,mostly elite riders tackled the three mile, 15 turn Thunderhill Raceway track west of Willows.
The riders pictured in the photo wearing "Optum" jerseys are part of a team that competes in the Amgen Tour of California. ###