Professional cyclists will race into downtown Santa Rosa on May 17, marking the second day of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.

Sources said Wednesday the city will host the Day 2 finish of the eight-day race billed as the nation's top professional cycling event. Race organizers are expected to make a formal announcement today.

City leaders confirmed earlier this month that the race would return to Santa Rosa for a fifth straight year. The remaining questions then were whether the city would host the start or finish of a stage and what day the cyclists would race through town.

"It's great news for us, for our business and for all the bike shops in town," said Glen Fant, an owner of NorCal Bike Sport and the Bike Peddler stores in Santa Rosa. "We definitely see an increase in business because of all the excitement the tour makes."

The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday that the race's first stage will begin May 16 in Nevada City and end in Sacramento. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reported the second stage will start the next day in Davis and finish in Santa Rosa.

A local source confirmed the details of Santa Rosa's role in the race.

The city must raise $175,000 in private donations to host the event. The funds will include proceeds from the 3,500-rider King Ridge GranFondo on Oct.3, the largest amateur cycling event ever held in Sonoma County. The ride was hosted by professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer, a Santa Rosa resident who has won the Tour for three straight years.

Next year's Tour will start in spring, rather than February when the racers at times were buffeted by rain and strong winds. The event will overlap with the 2010 Giro d'Italia, forcing riders to choose between the two races.

Staff Writer Robert Digitale can be reached at 521-5285 and robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.