Amgen again: South Tahoe set to host first two stages of 2017 women’s race | SierraSun.com

Amgen again: South Tahoe set to host first two stages of 2017 women’s race

Staff report

Female cyclists ride around Emerald Bay during a past Amgen Tour of California women’s race. The event featuring top cyclists from around the world will return to South Lake Tahoe for two stages in 2017.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The top female professional cyclists in the world will return to South Lake Tahoe next May.

Amgen Tour of California announced its host cities and racing schedule for the 2017 event on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and the South Shore host two stages in the women's race.

"After the 2016 Summer Olympics, women's cycling reached a new level and watching these elite athletes here in our backyard lends a new level of appreciation," said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. "Tahoe South and our partners look forward to celebrating Tahoe as a cycling mecca for top competitors as well as recreational enthusiasts."

Tahoe will host the overall start and Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California women's race on consecutive days May 11-12. The four-day race continues in Elk Grove, California, on May 13 and concludes in Sacramento, California, on May 14.

Stage 1 will start and end at Heavenly Mountain Resort on the South Shore, with riders making a 72-mile loop around the shoreline of Lake Tahoe. The final climb will lead racers back to Heavenly's California side.

The Stage 2 route will be announced in early 2017, where riders will face summits in Tahoe in excess of 7,300 feet, leading to what promises to be a climatic finish at Heavenly. The upcoming race marks the 10th consecutive year that a women's competition is a major component of the Amgen Tour of California.

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The 2017 women's field will feature defending event winner and reigning UCI Women's World Tour champion Megan Guarnier. The New York native racing for Boels—Dolmans won Stage 1 last year in South Lake Tahoe.

"As an American, I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to race at the highest level on American soil," Guarnier said. "The Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered with SRAM creates the most professional platform to showcase women's racing alongside the long-running men's race.

"The Amgen Tour of California features a variety of terrains, allowing different types of athletes to shine; with the hilly stages and the sprint stages it allows us to demonstrate our breadth of talent within the women's peloton."

2017 Amgen Tour of California women’s race schedule

Stage 1 — South Lake Tahoe, May 11

The race begins with a 72-mile loop around Lake Tahoe, starting and finishing at Heavenly Mountain Resort. The final climb will lead riders up to Heavenly’s California side.

Stage 2 — South Lake Tahoe, May 12

This stage will also start and finish at Heavenly, with the route to be announced in early 2017. In the mountainous terrain, this will be a difficult day for the peloton with riders facing summits in excess of 7,300 feet.

Stage 3 — Elk Grove to Sacramento, May 13

The penultimate stage of the race welcomes a first-time host city in Elk Grove, and heads south from there through the California Delta region. This stage is flat, but could feature menacing and unpredictable winds. The Sacramento River will lead riders into Sacramento for a sprint finish in front of the State Capitol building.

Stage 4 — Sacramento, May 14

In a closing stage that has become a favorite of racers and fans alike, the race concludes with finishing circuits around the State Capitol. The day of racing will be fast and furious and one to remember, as the women tear up the road to protect the yellow jersey and deliver their sprinter to the win.

More online: For more information on Amgen Tour of California, visit http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

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