Amgen Tour of California battle to climax with San Jose TT and Mt. Diablo uphill finish
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Amgen Tour of California battle to climax with San Jose TT and Mt. Diablo uphill finish

by VeloNation Press at 6:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
Details released of eight edition of top US event

Amgen Tour of California 2013Heading south to north for the first time in its history and peaking with a penultimate-day finish atop Mount Diablo, the eighth Amgen Tour of California has been unveiled by the organisers AEG today.

The race, which begins on May twelfth, is approximately 750 miles in length and runs for eight stages, is expected to again feature some of the biggest teams in the sport. A total of twelve cities have been named official Host City partners, with Escondido being both the start and finish venue for stage one.

Day two sees the start Murrieta and the finish Greater Palm Springs both feature for the first time; the stage will travel through desert terrain and could well see the riders battle the climate as much as each other.

The following day begins in Palmdale and then runs approximately 100 miles to the finish in Clarita. The latter is appearing for the fifth time since 2007, making it one of the most regular host venues. In fact it features twice in 2013; it will also be the venue for the stage four start.

After getting the race underway there, the riders will head towards the Pacific coast and fight it out for the honours in Santa Barbera.

Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports, said that the route fulfils an ambition the organisers had for quite some time. “Taking the Amgen Tour of California from South to North is something we always knew we wanted to do, and we are thrilled with the way things have come together for 2013,” she said.

“We think this will bring a whole new element to the competition for the elite cyclists who participate, not to mention some striking California scenery for our worldwide audience. California provides a variety of beautiful yet challenging terrain, helping us achieve our goal of creating a challenging route year after year while showcasing the very best this state has to offer.”

Having concluded stage four, Santa Barbara will also get stage five underway, starting a leg which will run to Avila Beach. That comes one day before the race returns yet again to San Jose, where the 2013 time trial will take place.

The race against the clock will be one of the most crucial clashes, but so too stage seven from Livermore to the top of Mount Diablo. The mountain showdown will likely decide the final outcome, with the last stage from San Francisco to Santa Rosa likely to finish in a big sprint to the line.

One of the most popular riders will likely be BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen, who was fourth overall in this year’s addition. The best young rider in the 2012 Tour has his eyes on the race and knows that overall success would be an important result for his team sponsor.

“Santa Rosa had big crowds and a huge reception last year for the start, so it will be exciting to go back to the hometown of the BMC Racing Team,” he said. “I also spent a little time last winter in Santa Barbara, so that should be a fun town to finish in as well. As an American cyclist, the Amgen Tour of California is always a priority for me and our team, and I am looking forward to racing in California again in 2013.”

Last year’s champion Chris Horner said that he was excited with the decision of the organisers to race from south to north.

“After growing up in San Diego, I love seeing the race back on the roads I've ridden for the past 25 years. Being welcomed by thousands of fans in Escondido in 2009 was a highlight of my career, and I'm sure the crowds will be even more amazing for the 2013 edition.” He added that the race is one of his favourite events on the calendar, making it likely he’ll again peak for the 2013 edition.

A third US rider who will target the event is Garmin – Sharp’s Peter Stetina. He’s a big stage race prospect and after finishing 21st in the 2011 Giro d’Italia and ninth in this year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, he knows that he could contend for the overall title.

“As an American pro cyclist and recent California transplant, I am extremely excited to see where the 2013 Amgen Tour of California route will run,” he said. “Being on an American team, Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda, with American sponsors, the Amgen Tour of California is one of the most important races of the year for us.”

More complete details will be announced closer to the start of the race. Next year’s event will once again feature the Breakaway from Cancer initiative.

Amgen Tour of California 2013:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido
Stage 2: Monday, May 13 – Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14 – Palmdale to Santa Clarita
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15 – Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara
Stage 5: Thursday, May 16 – Santa Barbara to Avila Beach
Stage 6: Friday, May 17 – San Jose (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 7: Saturday, May 18 – Livermore to Mt. Diablo
Stage 8: Sunday, May 19 – San Francisco to Santa Rosa


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