On May 15, we launch the second decade of the Amgen Tour of California by racing 106 miles through the city that was the birthplace of the Golden State. The fact that America’s Greatest Race will be visiting San Diego for the very first time attests to the vastness of California itself, but we’re finally going to showcase the state’s second largest city by starting the overall race there, which is also where the first stage will finish.
Last year’s inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered by SRAM was a sensational success showcasing a peloton filled with the world’s fastest female cyclists competing in a three-day stage race followed by an invitational time trial event. The ante is being upped in a big way in 2016 as the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered by SRAM, taking place May 19-22, is part of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour and will include the first ever women’s team time trial as Stage 2 of America’s Greatest Race.
This week, we finally got a look at the challenging route for the 2016 Amgen Tour of California, which was revealed at a media event presented by Visit California. From top to bottom – actually that should be from bottom to top since for only the second time ever, the race will travel south to north – the courses for the May 15-22 event will showcase California’s breathtaking beauty while taking the breath of the world’s most accomplished cyclists in a stage race that could be described as long and tall. The route for the eleventh edition of America’s Greatest Race is one of the longest in race history at nearly 800 miles and one of the tallest with almost 65,000 feet of climbing.
It was quite an opening – and closing – day Sunday in Sacramento on a magnificent Mother’s Day at the Amgen Tour of California. The men’s ten anniversary race got started under cloudless blue skies and abundant sunshine as the first women’s stage race empowered with SRAM came to a thrilling conclusion. The crowd Sunday was thick and arrived early to enjoy a full day of bike racing. What a treat they received from the star-studded pelotons.
It’s finally quiet at the official race hotel in Sacramento after a non-stop hive of activity in advance of Sunday’s start to the tenth anniversary Amgen Tour of California. Riders went out for an couple hours on the bike Saturday to open up their legs while mechanics, soigneurs and directors spent the day prepping bikes, bodies, beverages and battle plans. Race directors, officials, staffers, marshals, sponsors and the media had meetings scheduled from morning into the night. There are more than one thousand people in the caravan of this traveling juggernaut known as America’s Greatest Race that will visit thirteen host cities linked by 724 racing miles over the next eight days.
I fell in love last May. I had visited her a couple times before, but this time was different. I don’t know exactly what it was, but this trip I was completed enamored by her beauty, charmed by her radiance, and allured by her history and grace. My heart was enraptured yet this was the first stop on an eight-day adventure. How could I fall so fast? My travels continued yet she stayed ever present on my mind. Her name? Sacramento.