Organizers Reveal 2014 Tour of California Route
Race organizers hope early individual time trial and queen stage will pave the way for general classification shakeups and unprecedented racing excitement at 2014 Amgen Tour of California.
The route for the ninth edition of one of America’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling stage races, the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, was revealed at a press conference earlier today. Once again, this challenging race will bring professional cyclists from all over the world to California from May 11-18 for more than 740 miles of intensive battle through twelve host cities. Returning to a north-to-south route that will include two mountaintop finishes and a picturesque but difficult ride along iconic Highway 1, this year’s race is designed with an early time trial and Queen stage, organizers thereby hoping the winner will be anything but clear-cut as the week progresses.
The peloton will face the longest stage, the fast and flat time trial, and the hardest stage in the first three days of racing. In past editions of the Tour of California, the time trial and Queen stages – which typically shape overall standings – came late in the race, and the leader after that point had to defend his top position for only one or two remaining days. This year, with several days of difficult racing to follow, it is likely 2014 race fans will see the coveted yellow leader jersey change hands throughout the week with top performers in close contention and challenging each other until the very finish.
“Every year we look to incorporate new destinations, as well as vary technical aspects of the race,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “With the individual time trial on day two, followed by the most difficult course the next day, we’ve set the stage for thrills early in the race. There are no easy days, and teams will have to be strategic about when to take the lead and how to protect their positions through the rest of the week, so we’ll see some really exciting racing to the end.”
Thousand Oaks-based Amgen returns as the title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year for the heralded 8-stage race, which will conclude there after three race days in Los Angeles County. Beginning at the state capitol in Sacramento, the route will include three new host cities: Folsom, Cambria and Pismo Beach. The latter two will play a part in highlighting the beauty of the Central Coast, providing sweeping ocean vistas along California’s iconic coastal route, but looks can be deceiving; these stages will be anything but relaxing with head winds, tons of climbing and relentless effort to stay in contention. Starts and finishes will also be hosted in San Jose, Mount Diablo State Park, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Mountain High and Pasadena.
The peloton will be tested with more than 40,000 feet of climbs this year, with a categorized climb on every road stage. Stage 3 arguably will be the toughest in race history with two categorized climbs – up Mount Hamilton just five miles into the stage, and the final ascent to the summit of Mount Diablo, which will be a trying end to the day after 95 miles of