Early TT in Folsom and two mountain finishes will be decisive
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California will start in Sacramento and end eight days later in Thousand Oaks, race organiser AEG announced on Tuesday.
The ninth edition of the race will be held between May 11-18 and return to the stunning Pacific Coastal Highway as it follows a north-south route and covers 700 miles.
After the Sacramento start, the gold rush city of Folsom will host an early time trial stage, with the first mountain finish on stage three atop Mt. Diablo after starting in San Jose. Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura) won the stage in 2013.
The race then heads back to the Pacific Coast Highway for two sprint-friendly stages: stage 4 from Monterey to Cambria, just west of Paso Robles, and stage 5 which heads from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara.
The climbers get to test their legs again on stage 6, when the race heads from Santa Clarita to Mountain High, the race's second mountaintop finish. This stage is expected to decide the overall race winner.
The race will return to Santa Clarita for the start again on stage 7, and finish in Pasadena, and then the race concludes in the title sponsor's home base of Thousand Oaks for what could be a demanding, punchy circuit.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) won this year’s race, with Peter Sagan taking two sprint victories. Both are expected to be back at the race in 2014.
“We strive to raise the bar each year to present an Amgen Tour of California that not only continues to attract and challenge the world’s top cyclists, but also fittingly features and promotes California’s unique sights and striking scenery,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports.
“We’re confident our worldwide audience will enjoy everything next year’s race has to offer – from epic climbs to rolling hills and thrilling finishes; it’s a testament to California’s iconic terrain.”
The full details of the route and the teams will be announced in the spring.
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California:
Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria
Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
Stage 6: Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High
Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks.
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