2016 Amgen Tour of California returning to Tahoe for men, women | SierraSun.com

2016 Amgen Tour of California returning to Tahoe for men, women

Sebastian Foltz
A pack of women’s cyclists circle Lake Tahoe during the 2015 women’s Amgen Tour of California.
Courtesy Jon Paul / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority |

Amgen Tour of California STAGE Preview

STAGE 1: The 2016 race will start in Southern California and head north. The men’s race will kick off on May 15 with a complete stage in the San Diego area. Racers will start and finish near the water around Mission Bay and in downtown San Diego.

Stage 2: Day two will start in the first-time host city of South Pasedena and end in Santa Clarita. Much of the stage will include the Angeles National Forest.

Stage 3: The third day of competition will start in Thousand Oaks, home of Amgen’s corporate headquarters, and head to Santa Barbara County. The stage will include a mountaintop finish at Gibraltar Road, a site that organizers said was 11 years in the making and will be highly anticipated.

Stage 4: This section will include racing on Highway 1 from Morrow Bay to Monterey County. It will end at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area.

Stage 5: The men will start the day in Lodi and reach the highest point in the 11-year history of the event, 8,600 feet before finishing in South Lake Tahoe. The women’s race will start and finish their opening day in South Lake Tahoe.

Stage 6: Both races will feature the same start and finish starting on day 6. The stage will be an individual time trial in Lodi.

Stage 7: The second to last stage for both races will take place in Santa Rosa and will incorporate portions of the popular Levi’s GranFondo. The men and women will compete on different courses.

Stage 8: The race will conclude in the 8-time host city of Sacramento. This will be the first time the city has hosted the final stage.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — When the Amgen Tour of California cycling race kicks off its 11th year next May, South Lake Tahoe will be part of a key stage.

Organizers for the annual multi-day race announced host cities on Oct. 22. South Lake Tahoe will host the Stage 5 finish of the men’s race, as well as the official start and finish of the first stage of the women’s race, both on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

South Lake Tahoe previously hosted two stages of the women’s race in 2015. The men’s start, which was scheduled to cycle through the North Shore and Truckee, was canceled due to weather in 2011.

“Our neighborhoods are going to be really excited,” Lake Tahoe Visitors Association executive director Carol Chaplin said last week. “It’ll be fun for them to come out to the race.”

She added that the LTVA sees the event as having a major impact on marketing the region.

“For us the tour has been part of our strategic plan to raise awareness of us as a destination for cycling,” she said. “It helps our target markets get the message that we’re a premier destination for outdoor recreation and cycling.”

Commenting on the decision to include Tahoe, race president Kristin Klein said, “We’re thrilled to be going back to South Lake Tahoe. They are a phenomenal community. I can only imagine that the crowds are going to be that much bigger with both the men and the women there.”

Chaplin also spoke to the positive impact of last year’s women’s stages.

“We loved having the women here last year,” she said. “We got a lot of buzz out of that. They were engaged with the community. It was really fun.”

While the exact course will be announced closer to the race, officials included some basic information on host cities and stages.

“We look at ourselves as a warm up to the Tour de France,” Klein said of the event that annually attracts some of cycling’s elite, including tour competitors and past Olympians.

“We continue to make it tougher every year,” Klein said of the course, “and this year is no different.”

The men’s Stage 5 will start in Lodi, California, and finish at Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. The women’s stage could potentially go around the lake with both the start and finish at Heavenly Village.

Both races will proceed to Folsom, Calif., for an individual time trial. The men’s race will start in San Diego and both will finish in Sacramento on May 22.

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