Video and stage details: Tough Amgen Tour of California 2013 route revealed
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Video and stage details: Tough Amgen Tour of California 2013 route revealed

by Shane Stokes at 11:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California, Video
Mount Diablo summit finish, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climb and individual time trial to shape race

Amgen Tour of CaliforniaHeading South to North for the first time and taking in beaches, deserts and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge plus some very tough mountain climbs, the route of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California has been unveiled today by the organisers. It will see the riders finish on top of Mount Diablo climb for the first time ever, scrap it out on a number of other climbs, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and also scrabble for time gains in a 19.6 mile individual time trial in San Jose.

Many of the top teams in the sport are again expected to line out in the 2.HC race, which will run from May 12th to 19th, is in its eighth year and will total approximately 750 miles.

“We take great pride in creating challenging, beautiful Amgen Tour of California routes that attract top international riders and showcase the state’s amazing terrain and scenery,” said the race’s executive director Kristin Bachochin, who is also senior vice president of AEG Sports.

“We also consider the many fan and rider route suggestions before we settle on a final course. This year will be not only the most competitive but the most spectacular with diverse California scenery, from coastal routes to mountain vistas.”

While the teams and top riders are yet to be revealed, the organisers have said that current world road race champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) is expected to be taking part, along with Olympic medallists and many Tour de France competitors.

The race will feature a mix of mountainous and flat stages, with enough tough climbs included to ensure that a rider with strong uphill abilities will win overall.

Standouts include the ascent of Mount Palomar on stage one, the summit finish of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on day two, the aforementioned individual time trial in San Jose and the Mount Diablo climb, which will conclude the penultimate day of the race.

The route looks set to produce plenty of aggressive racing, with details of each stage discussed in the video and also in the stage breakdowns below.

2013 Amgen Tour of California:

Stage 1, Presented by Nissan: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido:

Start/Finish Location: Broadway and Grand Ave.

Start Time: 11:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 104.3 miles

Returning to San Diego county for the first time since 2009, the very high spectator turnout then means that huge crowds are predicted for the opening stage of the race. It will both start and finish in Escondido and the 104.3 mile route will include the testing climb up Mount Palomar, an ascent which has been compared to Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France.

Stage 2, Presented by Visit California: Monday, May 13 – Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs:

Start Location: Murrieta City Hall/Town Square Park
Finish Location: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Start Time: 10:20 a.m.
Stage Length: 126.1 miles

Beginning in Murrieta and finishing 126.1 miles later with a tough uphill finish in Palm Springs, day two should feature spectacular racing and a real dust up in the final battle to the line.

After travelling south through Temecula Valley Wine Country, the riders will slug it out on the climb up the San Jacinto Mountains, drop down to the Coachella Valley and the towns of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City, then head for the daunting Tramway Road in Palm Springs.

The final 3.8 miles are all uphill, gaining 1,880 feet in altitude and causing a serious shake up to the general classification.

Tour of California 2013 st 3Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14 – Palmdale to Santa Clarita:

Start Location: Marie Kerr Park
Finish Location: Magic Mountain Parkway

Start Time: 11:20 a.m.
Stage Length: 111.8 miles

Climbing is once again on the agenda for the riders, with a 22 mile ascent up Lake Hughes Road certain to break up the peloton on day three between Palmdale and Santa Clarita. However the summit is followed by an 18 mile drop down to the finish, enabling a regrouping to happen and a possible big group finish to take place.

Tour of California 2013 st 4Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15 – Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara:

Start Location: Theater Drive and Town Center
Finish Location: Cabrillo Blvd.

Start Time: 12:35 p.m.
Stage Length: 84.7 miles

The fourth stage is a flatter prospect, but in travelling along the coast from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara, the riders will battle headwinds along parts of the route. They will also encounter climbs at Dennison Grade and Casitas Pass, but organisers believe that the long descent and run in to the finish will make a sprint likely.

Tour of California 2013 st 5Stage 5, Presented by Visit California: Thursday, May 16 – Santa Barbara to Avila Beach:

Start Location: Cabrillo Blvd.
Finish Location: Front St.

Start Time 11 a.m.
Stage Length: 116.4 miles

Following a similar route to 2006 but in reverse, the stage will begin in Santa Barbara and extends 116.4 miles to Avila Beach, where the finish will take place on Front Street. Early on the riders will scale the steep and windy San Marcos Pass along state Route 154 , drop down into the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area, then climb Foxen Canyon Road. This will be followed by an intermediate sprint in Arroyo Grande and a likely bunch gallop at the finish in Avila Beach.

Tour of California 2013 st 6Stage 6: Friday, May 17 – San Jose (Individual Time Trial):

Start Location: Bailey Ave.
Finish Location: Metcalf Road – Metcalf Motorcycle Park

Start Time: 12:50 p.m.
Stage Length: 19.6 miles

Certain to be one of the most important stages of this year’s race, the 19.6 mile individual time trial at San Jose will further scatter the general classification and could well see a change at the top. The city is returning for the eighth time, making it the only one to feature in every edition of the race, and will retrace most of the route of the 2006 time trial. However a crucial change is the conclusion, which is being billed as the most difficult finish to any Tour of California time trial.

“Once they make the final right-hand turn on the route, they will face the strenuous, three kilometre climb up Metcalf Road to the finish. The riders will gain nearly 1,000 feet in elevation and attack several pitches with a grade of 10 percent or more,” state the organisers.

Tour of California 2013 st 7Stage 7, Presented by Nissan: Saturday, May 18 – Livermore to Summit of Mount Diablo:

Start Location: 3rd St./Carnegie Park
Finish Location: Mount Diablo – summit parking lot

Start Time: 11:35 a.m.
Stage Length: 93 miles

In finishing at the top of the gruelling Mount Diablo, the penultimate stage of the race will see all out war between the general classification contenders as they seek to make the difference before a flatter final leg. It is undulating early on with several narrow, twisting climbs peppering the route, then the riders will race up the notorious wall at Patterson Pass road, which exceeds 15 percent steepness inside the final two kilometres. After that the riders will race on to Livermore, the site of an intermediate sprint, then continue to Mount Diablo and the big showdown.

This climb has previously attracted big crowds and in order to make things even more difficult, an additional 4.5 miles to the summit have been included. These will likely be hugely important for the final outcome of the race, and should make for superb TV footage.

Tour of California 2013 st 8Stage 8, Presented by Amgen: Sunday, May 19 – San Francisco to Santa Rosa:

Start Location: Marina Green
Finish Location: 3rd Street and Santa Rosa Ave.

Start Time: 8:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 86.2 miles

The final stage of the race takes in some famous landmarks, with the riders passing through San Francisco and crossing over the Golden Gate bridge, then going on to Point Reyes National Seashore, Occidental and Santa Rosa, where massive crowds are expected.

They will be rewarded with two circuits of a finishing lap there, enabling them to see the final battle for overall classification and stage victory being fought out amongst the riders.

Click here for bigger stage profiles:





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