Amgen Tour of California announces race routes |

Amgen Tour of California announces race routes

Women climb toward Emerald Bay during the Queen of the Mountain segment of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California.
Sebastian Foltz / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Cycling fans on South Shore now have a better idea of where they should post up to watch the Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s race.

South Lake Tahoe will be the finishing city for Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race,

AEG, owner and presenter of the 13th annual race, announced the official routes Thursday, Feb. 8. AEG had already announced that Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race would end in South Lake Tahoe, while the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s race will start and finish on the South Shore.

The men’s race has seven stages this year and will begin May 13 in Southern California for the third time before making its way north finishing May 19 in Sacramento.

Stage 6 will begin Friday, May 18, in Folsom and the peloton will traverse 122 miles and climb more than 16,000 feet, cresting Carson Pass and Kingsbury Grade (for the first time) before ending with an uphill finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

The race will cover 645 miles of backroads, highways and coastlines from Long Beach to the state capitol.

Three of the top riders in the world are confirmed to compete, Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan, who holds the record for most Tour of California stage wins with 16.

“Building up to the Tour de France with a strong performance at the Amgen Tour of California is always an important goal,” Sagan said in a press release. “The race is one of my favorite competitions every year — always challenging competition and such beautiful scenery — and I’m excited to return and try for more stage wins this year.”

Stage 1 is a circuit race in Long Beach. Stage 2 starts in Ventura and finishes at Gibraltar Road. Stage 3 traverses from King City to Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey County. Stage 4 is an individual time trial in Morgan Hill/San Jose. Stage 5 begins in Stockton and finishes in Elk Grove.

The women’s race will showcase the world’s best female cyclists and will run concurrently, May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages.

The first stage will take place in Elk Grove before the grueling stage in Tahoe.

The riders will start at Heavenly, turn south on Highway 89 and head over Luther Pass. They will head down into the Carson River Basin before turning left and eventually heading back to the South Shore by way of Kingsbury Grade, an 8-mile climb that gains 2,700 feet of elevation.

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