February 20, 2015 (California) – Team SmartStop will be hunting their first Medalist stage win at the Amgen Tour of California come May. Having raced three medalist races in 2014 (Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Alberta) the team just came short of one of their biggest goals. With the announcement of the stage routes for the Amgen Tour of California comes the excitement of being a part of America’s largest and most prestigious cycling race.
Sports Director, Michael Creed and rider Rob Britton, who finished third in Breckenridge at the USA Pro Challenge in 2014, were both at the announcement at Pedalers Fork this morning to hear, first hand, the routes that them and the team would be tackling this May.
“It’s the biggest race all year for us, and the biggest race in the teams existence,” said Creed at the press conference, “for my riders it is a chance to showcase themselves to the fans, other teams and directors. It is a chance to showcase the team to our sponsors who provide their support to us all year.
Added Britton: “We are really excited about the 10th anniversary of the Amgen Tour of California. The courses this year look to have combined all of the best from previous years and made something really special. With the depth of the team we have this year, I feel we can honestly look at every stage as a real opportunity for a result as well as the general classification.
“Personally I am thrilled for the opportunity to be back in California and am really looking forward to showcasing why we were the top team in America in 2014.”
Described as fast and flat, riders will be contending with the wind on course during stage one and with one climb on stage two, these two stages will be a sprinters delight and will be sure to showcase exciting bunch finishes at the conclusion of the stages.
Stage three will take the riders into the mountain, this will surely bring out the first of the general classification battles as the riders head up Mt Hamilton. The sprinters will get another chance to shine during stage four from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach before the stage six Big Bear Lake Individual Time Trial which will surely bring another GC shake up.
The biggest test will come on stage seven – the Queen Stage – which takes the riders up Mt Baldy which the Amgen Tour of California describes as “one of the hottest Strava segments in the U.S.” and features 15 switchbacks to the Mt Baldy Ski Area.
The final stage will bring the riders into the heart of L.A. starting at L.A. Live and finishing at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium. This is bound to be a spectators delight beginning with a five-mile circuit highlighting many iconic areas of downtown L.A finishing with seven laps of a 3.1-mile circuit at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
“I think it is a very well balanced course and will suit our team to a tee,” said Creed, “the stage in Sacramento will more than likely be a sprinters stage and we are looking to have a very fast team at the race.”
The Amgen Tour of California Stages:
Stage 1, Presented by Visit California
Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento
Start/Finish Location: State Capitol Building, L Street & 11th Street
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Stage Length: 127 miles
Stage 2, Presented by Breakaway from Cancer®
Monday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi
Start Location: Broad Street & Pine Street
Finish Location: Hutchins Street & Walnut Street
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Stage Length: 120 miles
Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose
Start Location: Berryessa Community Center
Finish Location: Motorcycle County Park
Start Time: 11:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 105 miles
Wednesday, May 13 – Pismo Beach to Avila Beach
Start Location: Pismo Beach Pier
Finish Location: Front Street & San Antonia Street
Start Time: 11:30 a.m.
Stage Length: 107 miles
Stage 5, Presented by Visit California
Thursday, May 14 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Start Location: Cabrillo Boulevard & Garden Street
Finish Location: Magic Mountain Parkway
Start Time: 11:45 a.m.
Stage Length: 98 miles
Stage 6, Presented by Lexus
Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake Individual Time Trial
Start Location: Village Drive & Pine Knot Avenue
Finish Location: Jetty
Start Time: 1:00 p.m.
Stage Length: 15 miles
Stage 7, Presented by Lexus
Saturday, May 16 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy (Queen Stage)
Start/Finish Location: Mt. Baldy Ski Area
Start Time: 11:35 a.m.
Stage Length: 80 miles
Stage 8, Presented by Amgen
Sunday, May 17 – L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles) to the Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena)
Start Location: L.A. LIVE (Chick Hearn Court)
Finish Location: Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium
Start Time: 9:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 60 miles