Palmdale to host Amgen Tour of California stage start

Re-routed stage six to include more climbing

The city of Palmdale will be the new host city for the start of the Amgen Tour of California's sixth stage, organiser AEG announced today. The previous host town, Pasadena, lost out on the honour after wildfires and mudslides damaged the Angeles Crest Highway north of the city this winter and the route was not ready to accomodate the race.

The new route for stage six, set to take place on May 21, will begin to the north of the Angeles National Forest at Palmdale City Hall with riders facing a 135 mile route to Big Bear Lake.

In what will be the most difficult stage in the five-year history of the Amgen Tour of California riders will take on the San Gabriel and San Bernadino mountain ranges with more than 12,000 total feet of climbing, 2,000 more than the previous route from Pasadena.

From Palmdale, the race will head south along the Angeles Forest Highway before cutting over on the Upper Big Tujunga Canyon road to the undamaged portion of the previous route on the Angeles Crest Highway.

“After assessing the options for re-routing Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California, we determined that Palmdale would be the perfect start city for the race, allowing us to feature much of the same challenging terrain in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.

“As long-term partners of Pasadena, we appreciate how graciously they have handled this difficult situation. We look forward to returning to Pasadena soon and to working with new partner Palmdale this year.”

The 2010 Amgen Tour of California will travel along a more than 800-mile course from Nevada City to Thousand Oaks, title-sponsor Amgen’s hometown community, from May 16-23.

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