2018 AMGEN Tour of California Men’s and Women’s Race Routes Announced
Fastest Men on Two Wheels – Cavendish, Kittel, Sagan – Headline 2018 Race And New Auction Benefitting California Wildfire Relief
Cycling fans can begin plotting their roadside viewing points along the 2018 Amgen Tour of California route, announced by AEG, owner and presenter of the 13th annual race.
America’s premier cycling stage race will cover 645 miles of roadways, highways, and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento May 13-19. Known for epic sprinter showdowns, three of the sports greatest are confirmed to race this year: Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Team KATUSHA ALPECIN) and “King of California” Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), cycling’s first three-time consecutive World Champion, who also holds the California race record for most stage wins (16).
Sagan, who recently won his 2018 season opener, will come into the Amgen Tour of California defending his seventh California Green Jersey for dominating the race’s overall Sprint competition.
“Building up to the Tour de France with a strong performance at the Amgen Tour of California is always an important goal. 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!” said Sagan.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists, will run concurrently May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages.
A visual overview of the men’s and women’s courses is viewable at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/2018-route-overview.
“I’m excited about the season ahead and will be working hard to make the 2018 season a hugely successful one. The Amgen Tour of California has always been an incredibly special race for me, and will once again be a priority in my race calendar this year in the lead-up to the Tour de France,” said race veteran Mark Cavendish, who with 30 Tour de France stage wins is approaching the all-time record (34).
With seven new courses between them, the annual professional cycling events are the only U.S. races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and attract some of the most renowned cyclists and teams in the world. The Amgen Tour of California is designed to cover a variety of terrain, allowing different types of specialists among the field of the world’s greatest cyclists to shine throughout the week. 2018 will mark the third time the race will run south to north.
“I like racing as well as training in California – I can see the beach and do altitude training all in one place. I’ve always had a really good time at the Amgen Tour of California and am excited to compete this year,” said Marcel Kittel, who claimed the opening stage last year.
Signed apparel from these all-star sprinters, along with past Amgen Tour of California favorites, will soon be available through an Amgen Tour of California online auction benefiting American Red Cross Disaster Relief in light of the devastation brought on by wildfires and mudslides throughout the state. Race fans – and California fans – will be able to bid on exclusive items from merchandise to behind-the-scenes race experiences to help people affected by disasters. 100 percent of the proceeds from the Amgen Tour of California auction organized by STAPLES Center Foundation support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. More details soon at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
This year for the first time, the men will race through Carson Valley on their way up Kingsbury Grade to the stage finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort.
In 2017, for the regional women’s race – Oakland, CA native Katie Hall won the stage with the race’s first encounter with Kingsbury Grade, an 8-mile climb that gains 2,700’ in elevation. Hall also took away the Queen of the Mountain jersey for her battle to the top.
Women’s stage 2 and men’s stage 6 race through Carson Valley May 18, and volunteers are needed for the race route to help with directions and traffic control. To volunteer please call 775.782.8145 or email [email protected].
WOMEN’S STAGE 2 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
67.1 miles / 108 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group of 2-3 riders
Similar to 2017, the women’s overall will be contested on the high-altitude Queen Stage in South Lake Tahoe, which features one of the biggest climbs in the UCI Women’s World Tour. The racers will head west from Heavenly Mountain Resort for the start of this 70-mile stage then turn south on CA-89 and over the 7,740′ summit of Luther Pass where they will meet the first of the day’s three Queen of the Mountain climbs (QOMs). A quick descent will take the riders into the spectacular Carson River Basin and on a loop through the Washoe Reservation before heading northeast into Nevada. A left turn will take them north on Kingsbury Grade. The “Grade” had never been attempted in any previous Amgen Tour of California stage…until 2017. This 8-mile climb gains 2,700′ in elevation, with riders encountering the second QOM at an elevation of 7,400′. The descent back to South Lake Tahoe will provide beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The final QOM of the stage will deliver the riders to the finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort.
MEN’S STAGE 6 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
FOLSOM TO SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
122 miles / 196.5 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Mass Sprint of 10-15 riders
The City of Folsom hosted Time Trials in 2014 and 2016. For 2018, this daunting stage will start with a pass of Folsom’s newly completed the Johnny Cash Trail, a unique 3-mile trail that honors the memory of the singer and his historic performance at the Folsom prison in 1968. Then the fun begins – 123 miles featuring more than 16,000 feet of climbing, four King of the Mountain climbs (including Kingsbury Grade for the first time) and an uphill finish. The elevation in Folsom is just 275′. The racers will see 8,600′ as they crest Carson Pass and will finish in South Lake Tahoe at Heavenly at 6,600′.