The Amgen Tour of California bypassed Petaluma in favor of a more scenic first leg from Sausalito to Santa Rosa, but the local community was still very much connected to the race.

Steven Cozza, who was raised in Petaluma and still calls the community his home, was among the 144 elite riders competing in what is perhaps the biggest road race in the United States.

Cozza, just a few days shy of his 22nd birthday, has been competing mostly in Europe, but is riding in the Tour of California for Slipstream.

Cozza, who trained for the California event on backroads in southern Sonoma County, gained national attention when he won the national Under 23 time trials in 2005.

Last year he was second in the under 23 USA National TT Championships and third in the under 23 class in the USA National Road championships. He is rated one of the USA?s top young riders.