Featured Stories

2016 AGMEN Tour of California Route Announced

release by the AMGEN Tour of California

January 29, 2016 (Los Angeles, CA) – The 2016 Amgen Tour of California route was released today, revealing a scenic but challenging course across nearly 800 miles of California’s most beautiful terrain where the world’s most accomplished cyclists will compete for the overall title May 15-22, 2016. Presented by Visit California, the route announcement included a route video with details of each of the eight stages, viewable here.

Beginning May 19, an international field of lauded women cyclists will compete for four days with similar stage starts and finishes to the men’s course, doubling the racing excitement for many of this year’s host cities. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM is the first North American stage race of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour and features the first Team Time Trial in race history.

For only the second time in Amgen Tour of California history, the race will progress south to north, beginning in San Diego and traveling through 10 additional host cities (four new this year) before a new champion is crowned in the state capital of Sacramento. The peloton will endure nearly 65,000 feet of climbing, including the race’s first ascent up the infamous Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County.

 ©  2016 Amgen TOC

“We have an epic route in store for the 11th annual Amgen Tour of California,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “Competitors and fans are in for thrills – in particular, one of the longest routes ever with lots of climbing, our second time riding south to north across the state, four new host cities, our first team time trial (women), and a can’t-miss race finish with the first-ever Gibraltar Road climb during the Queen Stage. The level of competition will highlight why the Amgen Tour of California is America’s Greatest Race and also one of the international season’s most challenging.”

Cyclists of all levels will have the chance to join public preview rides of several Amgen Tour of California stages, including the sixth annual L’Etape California on April 24 from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County, and other free community rides with new race ambassador and four-time National Champion Freddie Rodriguez in Folsom (today), Monterey County (Feb. 3) Santa Rosa (March 19) and San Diego (April 30). More information on Amgen Tour of California public rides is available here.

Once again, local organizing committees are filling thousands of volunteer positions for various duties along the course. Volunteer registration is now open here.

San Diego 106 miles / 170.5 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish

The first day of racing will begin and end in first-time host city San Diego, the birthplace of California and the state’s second largest city. A natural fit for the nation’s premier cycling race, San Diego features a vibrant beach-oriented community whose residents are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.

The peloton will depart Mission Bay traveling through Balboa Park before heading south toward downtown and the harbor with views of the historic Gaslamp District and Coronado Bridge.

The race’s first Visit California Sprint will take place in bike-friendly Imperial Beach before heading east toward the rolling hills of East County. With only one Lexus King of the Mountain point on Honey Springs Road, fans can expect a fast finish as the riders race west back to the coast.

South Pasadena to Santa Clarita
92 miles / 148 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish

Stage 2 will begin in new host city South Pasadena, known for its historic homes, charming tree-lined streets and proximity to Rose Bowl Stadium.

Despite being a sprinter’s finish, the profile on the way to Santa Clarita is filled with long gradual climbs that could take a toll on the sprinters’ legs. Riders will face several Lexus King of the Mountain points in the Angeles National Forest including Highway 2, Big Tujunga and Little Tujunga Canyon. Throughout the route, riders will see numerous historic California bridges and tunnels.

Santa Clarita, host to the most stages in race history (12), will welcome the riders for a wide, flat finish in downtown Newhall.

Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County (Gibraltar Road)
104.1 miles / 167.5 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group of 2-4 riders

Stage 3 has been 11 years in the making and is the day every general classification rider will have circled on their calendar. The challenging Queen Stage will begin in Thousand Oaks, home to biotechnology company Amgen, the race’s title sponsor since its inception. This area is a popular training ground for professional and weekend cyclists alike. Riders will leave Thousand Oaks and quickly descend to the cool breeze of the Pacific Coast Highway.

After traversing the flat strawberry fields of Oxnard and Ventura, the peloton will roll through the undulating terrain of Lake Casitas, Carpinteria and Montecito.

With approximately 6 miles to go, the profile will turn upward on Gibraltar Road, a beautiful twisting mountain road with an 8% average grade. Fans and teams have long requested a finish here, and road conditions have finally made it possible this year. With each turn toward what is sure to be an epic finish, the peloton will experience magnificent views of Santa Barbara and the beach below.

Fans have the opportunity to ride this course at the sixth annual L’Etape California on April 24, three weeks before the race. Once again, Amgen Tour of California Ambassador Jens Voigt will lead the ride along with new ambassador and four-time National Champion Freddie Rodriguez. Registration is open now at <http://amgentourofcalifornia.com/letapecalifornia-register>amgentourofcalifornia.com/letapecalifornia-register.

Morro Bay to Monterey County at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
133.6 miles / 215 kilometers
Expected outcome: Select group finish

Stage 4 will feature several race “firsts” including the inaugural journey north up Pacific Coast Highway from new waterfront host city Morro Bay, which will showcase its natural beauty to the world.

Riders will roll out from the iconic Morro Rock and head north along California’s most famous coastline, passing windswept beaches and a dynamic estuary. For the next 100 miles, there are no turns as riders head north through coastal Cambria, over Big Sur’s famous Bixby Bridge and through Carmel-By-The-Sea en route to Monterey County.

The road to the marine-life oriented region of Monterey will be long with possible headwinds but also boundless beauty. Monterey was originally a fishing village, and today is one of the most visited areas in California and home to the world-famous Pebble Beach and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

With several short, steep climbs in the final five miles, this course could favor riders with quick bursts of power like last year’s race champion Peter Sagan (SVK). After 133 miles, expect a select group at the front to take a lap on the first racecourse finish in race history – the famously technical Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a venue known worldwide for motorsports competitions.

Lodi to South Lake Tahoe
132.4 miles / 213 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group finish

Stage 5 will usher riders from the beautiful vineyards of Lodi to a long gradual ascent to an uphill finish in South Lake Tahoe, reaching a peak elevation of 8,600 feet – the highest in race history. The ride, essentially a 130-mile climb that gains in elevation from 50 feet to 6,650 at the finish, will showcase California’s diversity, from the rich soil of the Central Valley to the mighty peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

This stage will be similar to Big Bear Lake stages of years past with plenty of climbing over the long route through national forest and wilderness areas. Upon reaching South Lake Tahoe, a short steep climb up Ski Run Boulevard will deliver the cyclists to the finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Folsom Time Trial
12.6 miles / 20.3 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Wide roads and non-technical, rolling course favors pure time trialists

In 2014, time trial specialists Bradley Wiggins, Rohan Dennis, and Taylor Phinney took podium honors. In 2016, the 12.6-mile out and back course returns to Historic Downtown Folsom.

In a town made famous by musician Johnny Cash, cycling now takes center stage, with the course passing beneath the recently constructed Johnny Cash Bike Trail Bridge. Folsom residents enjoy a healthy lifestyle and will be lining up to see the next time trial winner show off their best race against the clock.

Santa Rosa
109 miles / 175.4 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group finish

Stage 7 will begin and end in longtime host city Santa Rosa in the heart of Sonoma County wine county, one of the many fantastic viticulture hot beds the race will pass through this year. It will cover some of the same territory as the popular annual Levi’s GranFondo event.

The course will be rolling throughout with four Lexus King of the Mountain points along King Ridge Road, Pacific Coast Highway and Coleman Valley Road. These country roads through redwoods, coastline and forests will keep the peloton attentive with the feeling of riding on the edge of a continent.

With a crucial time trial the day prior, this penultimate stage in the general classification competition will most likely feature aggressive racing and a small group vying on the downtown circuits of the flat finish.

93 miles / 149.7 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish

The capital city of California has hosted the Amgen Tour of California Overall Start for the past two years as well as individual stage finishes; 2016 will bring its first Overall Finish. This sports-crazed city is thriving with a new stadium under construction and several national sporting events taking place throughout the year.

The course will travel along the Sacramento River and cross Tower Bridge twice before returning downtown where fans will anxiously wait along the traditional finish circuits around the Capitol building.

Last year was the closest men’s race finish ever with general classification champion Peter Sagan winning by a mere 3 seconds after earning an intermediate sprint time bonus and bonus seconds on the final stage sprint. What excitement will this year’s final race day hold?


South Lake Tahoe
72.7 miles / 117 kilometers, 4,700-foot gain (at an altitude of 6,500 feet)
Expected Outcome: Select group finish

Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will complete a full clockwise 72-mile loop of Lake Tahoe, just like the first stage in 2015.

The high-altitude route will feature an early Queen of the Mountain climb at Emerald Bay on the West Shore before reaching North Lake Tahoe and the communities of Kings Beach and Incline Village. As the race traverses the hilly yet beautiful East Shore, teams will begin working to set up \ general classification contenders for the short but steep uphill finish to Heavenly Mountain Resort – a 1-mile climb at an approximately 7% average gradient.

Lake Tahoe is known for its natural wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts, so fans will likely be watching from boats, paddle boards and bikes throughout the loop.

Folsom Team Time Trial
12.6 miles / 20.3 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Wide roads and non-technical, rolling course will create opportunities for strong teams

Stage 2 of the Women’s UCI WorldTour race will be a critical team time trial, a first for the Amgen Tour of California. The teams will race on the same time trial course as the men, out and back from Historic Downtown Folsom.

Santa Rosa 64 miles / 111 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group finish

Stage 3 of the Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will feature another long road course loop, similar to the first stage of the race around Lake Tahoe. At a race distance of 64 miles over rolling and twisting terrain, expect aggressive riding before the race returns to downtown Santa Rosa for three circuits. Santa Rosa is in for double the racing excitement, hosting the start and finish for the women and men on this day.

The first and last third of the course will feature the same roads as the men’s route with a single Queen of the Mountain climb on Coleman Valley Road.

41 miles / 66 kilometers (20 laps)
Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish

The overall champion will be decided after 20 laps of a downtown Sacramento circuit on wide, fast roads. Fans can expect shakeups until the very end — last year, Sacramento saw a thrilling women’s finish when Trixi Worrack’s (GER) general classification win came down to sprint time bonuses and the final sprint for the stage.

About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at <http://amgentourofcalifornia.com>amgentourofcalifornia.com.

This year, the men’s course will cover more than 750 miles over eight days through 12 host cities, including San Diego (first-time host), South Pasadena (first-time host), Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara County, Morro Bay (first-time host), Monterey County, Lodi, South Lake Tahoe (first-time host), Folsom, Santa Rosa and Sacramento. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will run for the latter half of the men’s race (May 19-22) as the U.S. debut event on the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT).

About Amgen
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

About AEG
Founder and operators of the Amgen Tour of California, AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Microsoft Theater, L.A. LIVE and PlayStation Theater; sports franchises including the LA Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers; AEG Live, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at <http://www.aegworldwide.com>www.aegworldwide.com.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.