The Amgen Tour of California returns to the golden state for a week of World Tour racing, an exciting event for cyclists in Southern California and beyond. The stage race features both a men and women’s competition that finishes in the capital, Sacramento. Spectating the Amgen Tour of California is a great opportunity to see some of the World’s greatest athletes battle it out on the roads of our gorgeous state.
THE MEN’S RACE
Last year in the men’s race finish, we saw George Bennet (LottoNL-Jumbo) take home the yellow jersey in the General Classification by beating out Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgroe) by 35 seconds. It was a nail-biting event, as Majka was holding the lead after winning the second stage in San Jose, but the superb performance by Bennett in the final stage was what brought it all home for the New Zealander. In the Sprint classification, it was no surprise to see Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) back in the green jersey for his seventh time in 8 years of competing in the race. Daniel Jaramillo eliminated Evan Huffman’s chances of taking the polka dots home for a second year by edging him out for a KOM classification win; and a brutal attack on the final day by Lachlan Morton secured his fate in the Best Young Rider classification.
MEN’S 2018 ROUTE 645.4 miles
We’re excited to see Long Beach host the opening stage for the Men’s race, and it’ll certainly be a thrill if you’re able to spectate the flat and fast stage that runs alongside the Shoreline. As the peloton moves on to Stage 2, and into Ventura to finish in Santa Barbara, you will see the climbers shine with a photo-op finish at the top of Gibraltar Road. Stage 3 starts in Monterey county and offers riders 6 KOM climbs before a sprint finish at the Laguna Seca Racetrack. Stage 4 is the Individual Time Trial in San Jose and Stage 5 finishes with a sprinter’s finish in Elk Grove. Stage 6 will be the last chance for the GC riders to make their move as they are faced with brutal climbs in the high altitude resort town of Lake Tahoe. Lastly, the men will finish with a criterium race in Sacramento, following the conclusion of the women’s race.
THE WOMEN’S RACE
The 2017 Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM started the four-day stage race in the mountainous South Lake Tahoe and a criterium finish in Sacramento. The USA women did dominated throughout the stages, including stellar performances and wins by Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), Katie Hall (UnitedHealthCare), and Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb). The final ranking for General Classification went to superstar from the Netherlands Anna Van Der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans). She had a great performance, following closely behind the winning USA women in the first three stages. Katie Hall took home the KOM jersey with an impressive lead of 16 points and an incredible performance on Stage 2 climbs in South Lake Tahoe.
WOMEN’S 2018 ROUTE: 187.3 miles
This year, the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, has been shortened to three days, but keeps some of the best parts of previous years. Two flat stages sandwich the second mountain stage in South Lake Tahoe, a replica of Stage 2 of last year. This stage will feature a monster of a climb that is 8 miles in length, gains 2,600 feet, and rises an average grade of 6% (watch Katie Hall’s performance). The Stage 3 circuit finish will be a fast whip through the capital city, Sacramento and it’s any woman’s game in this final stage. Both Trixi Worrack (2015) and Anna Van der Breggen (2017) won their overall titles by taking sprint time bonuses on the final circuits of Sacramento.