Tour of California organizers are playing things a little safer next year, avoiding Sacramento and the Sierra in their 2012 bike race. Stage 1 was completely canceled during the 2011 Amgen tour because of late-season snow and ice in South Lake Tahoe; stage 2 was moved from Squaw Valley to the lower elevation of Nevada City and started later in the day.
The 13 host cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour were announced Thursday in a press release. Sacramento, Davis, Nevada City and other Sierra host cities of the past are nowhere on the list. Sacramento has been a host city several times, creating a picturesque finish for racers at the State Capitol, and traffic nightmare for people who live here.
Racers will start in Santa Rosa, and spend the first three stages in the Bay area before heading to Central California, south to Bakersfield then finishing the tour in Los Angeles.
Find the complete tour map here.
Cyclists from all over the world will travel more than 750 miles from May 13th-20th, 2012. More than 100 cities applied to be a host city in next year’s race.
Santa Rosa was chosen as the first host city for the kick-off of the Tour, it is also home to three-time Amgen Tour of California Champion Levi Leipheimer. Riders stay in the Bay area the next few days, riding through San Francisco, down to Santa Cruz, over to San Jose and ending in Livermore.
Stage 4 starts in Sonora, which will be hosting the Tour for the first time, and cyclists will climb over several hills before ending in Clovis.
The time trial of Stage 5 will take place in Bakersfield, before heading to Los Angeles for the final three stages.
Each host city creates a short video introducing their town and the course they will be part of. To find the videos and read more about the 2012 race, head to www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun