The Amgen Tour of California on Tuesday revealed the details of the 750-mile route for its eighth edition. A mountaintop finish on Mount Diablo and a Golden Gate Bridge crossing highlight the eight-day race, which starts in Escondido and finishes in Santa Rosa.
“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 Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and 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.”
Palomar Mountain, site of the stage-winning attack when the race last visited San Diego County in 2009, returns for stage 1. The race’s first uphill finish will come on day 2 when riders climb into the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild before descending to the 3.8-mile finish climb to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
On stage 3, riders will climb the 22-mile Lake Hughes Road ascent before an 18-mile descent to the finish in Santa Clarita. An undulating seaside day with a likely headwind awaits riders for stage 4, which will see climbs at Ojai and Casitas Pass before a downhill finish in Santa Barbara.
San Marcos Pass is the most significant obstacle standing in the way of a likely bunch sprint in Avila Beach for stage 5. The following day the race returns to San Jose, the only city to host the race every year since its 2006 inception. The 19.6-mile individual time trial will return to the 2006 course, but will finish with the Metcalf Road climb, which tops out above 10 percent in sections.
If the stage 6 ITT did not, the stage 7 finish on Mount Diablo will likely decide the race. With a climb of Patterson Pass Road and its 15-percent-plus wall, and a climb to the full summit of Diablo, the race’s penultimate stage will prove a fine test for the race’s eighth winner.
The Amgen Tour will wrap with a two-circuit finale in Santa Rosa after riders cross the Golden Gate Bridge and make their way through Marin County on Highway 1 via Point Reyes National Seashore and Occidental. According to organizers, NBC will broadcast the stage live.
2013 Amgen Tour of California
Stage 1: Sunday, May 12, Escondido (104.3 miles)
Stage 2: Monday, May 13, Murrieta — Greater Palm Springs (126.1 miles)
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14, Palmdale — Santa Clarita (111.8 miles)
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15, Santa Clarita — Santa Barbara (84.7 miles)
Stage 5: Thursday, May 16, Santa Barbara — Avila Beach (116.4 miles)
Stage 6: Friday, May 17, San Jose (Individual Time Trial) (19.6 miles)
Stage 7: Saturday, May 18, Livermore — Mount Diablo (93 miles)
Stage 8: Sunday, May 19, San Francisco — Santa Rosa (86.2 miles)