The Amgen Tour of California will return to Sacramento, the Capital of California, for the start of the ninth edition of America’s largest cycling race announced AEG, presenter of the race.
The eight-day stage race will return to a route traveling north-to-south from May 11-18, 2014, along more than 700 miles of scenic roads through some of California’s most picturesque backdrops. Considered America’s largest and most prestigious cycling event, the overall start of the Amgen Tour of California will begin in front of the state’s Capitol building and travel through 11 host cities during the eight-day event including Folsom (first time host city), San Jose, Mt. Diablo, Monterey, Cambria (first time host city), Pismo Beach (first time host city), Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Mountain High (first time host city), Pasadena and Thousand Oaks.
“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 by sea, it’s a testament to California’s iconic terrain.”
The first day of racing will begin and finish in the state’s Capital of Sacramento, which previously hosted 2009’s spectacular prologue as well as the stage finishes in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
“The city of Sacramento could not be more proud to host the Amgen Tour of California and Stage 1 to kick off race festivities for such a distinguished group of athletes,” said Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento. “There is no better way to start the race’s route through California’s iconic landmarks, attractions and scenery than in the state’s capital city.”
The following day, the Individual Time Trial (Stage 2) will see racers competing against the clock in the former gold rush city of Folsom, which makes its race debut this year. For Stage 3, the peloton will return to California’s third largest city, San Jose (the only city to have participated in all nine editions of the race), for a stage start before traveling more than 50 miles north, gaining altitude as the route winds up Mt. Diablo for mountaintop finish at the famed summit for the second consecutive race.
The arts community of Monterey, which last hosted the race in 2006, will be the setting for the Stage 4 start. From there, the race will traverse approximately 100 miles south to finish the day in the seaside village of Cambria, which also makes its race debut in 2014.
Stage 5 will kick off in the “Clam Capital of the World,” Pismo Beach, where riders will be treated to sights of the city’s famous sand dunes for the first time this year. Additionally, sweeping ocean views will provide the perfect backdrop for racers and spectators alike as the route continues south to the American Riviera-like town of Santa Barbara for the Stage 5 finish.
Santa Clarita, which is home to a number of athletic champions such as swimmer Anthony Ervin and track star Allyson Felix, will host the Stage 6 start, before riders head to Mountain High for another mountaintop finish. The peloton will return to Santa Clarita for the Stage 7 start and will finish that day in the historic town of Pasadena.
The eighth and final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will start and finish in the title sponsor’s home of Thousand Oaks, which played host to the official race finish in 2010 and 2011.
“The Amgen Tour of California is always a challenging stage race that tests even the best cyclists in the world,” said pro cyclist Freddie Rodriguez, of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by Kenda. “It’s a race I look forward to, and am sure the 2014 race will not disappoint!”
Amgen returns as the race’s title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year, continuing to leverage the event to raise awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer—from prevention through survivorship—through its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative. (For more information, www.breakawayfromcancer.com)
“Amgen was founded with the mission to serve patients by developing innovative therapies for serious illness. Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California provides the unique opportunity to highlight how biotechnology has helped advance medicine for patients,” said Ray Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. “The race also helps us connect cancer survivors to important resources through Breakaway from Cancer. We look forward to honoring cancer survivors in all of the host communities, including Thousand Oaks, our hometown since 1980.”
Carrying an elite distinction, the Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2. HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers.
The Amgen Tour of California continues to draw global attention as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year – one that attracts Olympic medalists, World Champions and top Tour de France competitors.
The 13 Host City partners for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California include:
• 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
• 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
Continuing their support of the sport of cycling and the growth and success of the Amgen Tour of California, Champion System is returning as the official race jersey and uniform provider and will soon debut new items from its 2014 collection of cutting-edge, custom technical apparel online at www.AmgenTourofCaliforniaStore.com. For further information on the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, and to view the 2014 Amgen Tour of California map, visitwww.AmgenTourofCalifornia.com.