2011 Amgen Tour of California Route Announced
Following weeks of speculation and anticipation, the host cities for the record-setting 2011 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling road race were announced this morning by race presenter AEG.
attendance for a single sporting event in the state of California, as well as any cycling event ever held on U.S. soil, with more than 2 million spectators in previous years.
"From the world-class riders and challenging competition, to the tremendous amount of support from the fans and Host Cities, the Amgen Tour of California has grown to become one of the most anticipated events within the international cycling community," Messick continued and added "Making the final selection of Host Cities for the race becomes an increasingly challenging task each year."
With the 2011 Amgen Tour of California once again taking place in May, the cyclists will have more time to train, and the competition promises to be even tougher. In previous years, the race has drawn some of the world's most renowned and respected riders, such as top Tour de France competitors, World Champions and Olympic medalists that include Lance Armstrong, Tom Boonen, Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini, Fabian Cancellara, Carlos Sastre, Ivan Basso, George Hincapie, Mark Cavendish and Andy Schleck.
"I was in as good of shape the past three years [when I won the Amgen Tour of California] as I am now," Levi Leipheimer, Tour of California winner from 2007-2009, commented after the 2010 race and added "The difference this year is that you see a couple of riders on the same level. The competition has definitely risen."
"For our team, there's only one race more important to us than the Amgen Tour of California, and that's the Tour de France. This is a huge result for us. We can really walk away from the 2010 Amgen Tour of California with big smiles on our faces," Australian Michael Rogers of Team HTC-Columbia said after winning the 2010 race.
Returning as the title sponsor for the sixth consecutive year, Amgen will continue to leverage the race to raise awareness and support for people affected by cancer through its Breakaway from Cancer initiative.
The only American race listed on the international professional cycling calendar with a 2. HC ranking, the Amgen Tour of California has drawn the attention of both cycling enthusiasts and first-time spectators, solidifying its position as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year.
The 2011 Amgen Tour of California will visit 15 Host Cities for official stage starts and finishes, while other cities along the route also will have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite professional road cycling.
Stages for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California include:
Stage 1: Sunday, May 15 - South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort
Stage 2: Monday, May 16 - North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley to Sacramento
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 17 - Auburn to Modesto
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 18 - Livermore to San Jose
Stage 5: Thursday, May 19 - Seaside to Paso Robles
Stage 6: Friday, May 20 - Solvang Individual Time Trial
Stage 7: Saturday, May 21 - Claremont to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8: Sunday, May 22 - Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks