CALIFORNIA'S ALL-TIME STAGE LEADER AND TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION PETER SAGAN SET TO RETURN TO RACE FOR 6TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 2, 2016) – Peter Sagan, the 2015 overall Amgen Tour of California winner and record holder with 15 stage victories since riding for the first time in 2010, will headline an all-star peloton when America’s most prestigious cycling stage race launches the 12th edition in May, 2017.
The 2017 Amgen Tour of California men’s competition is set to begin in Sacramento on May 14, 2017, while the 2017 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered with SRAM will begin three days earlier on May 11 in South Lake Tahoe, it was announced today by AEG, owners of the annual event. The women’s competition will conclude its four-stage race in Sacramento on May 14 as the men begin their seven-stage, 600-mile event set to conclude in Pasadena on May 20.
The remaining Host Cities (start and finish destinations for each stage) were also announced and include Big Bear Lake (Men's Individual Time Trial), Modesto, Morro Bay, Mt. Baldy, Mountain High, Ontario, Pismo Beach, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, and first time Host City Elk Grove which will host the Stage 3 women’s competition start.
"The Amgen Tour of California has long been the most esteemed cycling race in America. Its designation as a UCI WorldTour event will continue to expand its international exposure and attract the best teams and cyclists yet, giving fans even more to cheer about from the streets of California next spring," said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports.
THE KING OF CALIFORNIA RETURNS
Sagan, one of the most popular cyclists ever to compete in the Amgen Tour of California will be racing for his recently launched BORA-hansgrohe team hoping to add on to his current record of 15 stage wins including two in 2016. The 2015 and 2016 (current) World Champion will be racing in the Golden State for the 7th consecutive year.
"Racing in the Amgen Tour of California is always one of my top priorities every year. While spectacular to watch from a scenic standpoint, the route is consistently tough and challenging and one that brings out the best in all of the riders," said Sagan. "The incredible fans and all of the cities of California that we get to visit truly makes the Amgen Tour of California one of the best experiences of the year for me."
Also returning to California in 2017 is 2016 Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered with SRAM defending Champion and current UCI Womens World Tour Champion Megan Guarnier racing for the Boels–Dolmans team.
"The Amgen Tour of California has been a superb addition to the Women's World Tour calendar," said Guarnier. "As an American, I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to race at the highest level on American soil. The Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered with SRAM creates the most professional platform to showcase women's racing alongside the long-running men's race, and the organization ensures that there is media coverage surrounding the event further elevating the exposure of our event for our current, and I dare say our future, fan base.
The Amgen Tour of California features a variety of terrains, allowing different types of athletes shine; with the hilly stages and the sprint stages it allows us to demonstrate our breadth of talent within the women's peloton. I am personally excited to return to the Amgen Tour of California and the rare opportunity to race on home-soil in my current home-State," continued Guarnier. “I always love racing in front of the home-crowd. It energizes me and pushes me to top performances."
The 2017 race will mark the first year the men's race has been elevated to UCI WorldTour status, making it the only stage race in North America to receive this prestigious classification. The upcoming race will also be the tenth consecutive year that a women’s competition will be held as part of the Amgen Tour of California.
Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race empowered with SRAM
Stage 1 – South Lake Tahoe, May 11, 2017
The women will start things off with a race around one of the most beautiful race routes in the USA: the Lake Tahoe Loop. The final climb will lead riders up to the finish at the Heavenly Mountain Resort.
Stage 2 – South Lake Tahoe, May 12, 2017
While the race will have a common start and finish at the Heavenly Mountain Resort, the route is entirely new to the Amgen Tour of California. Given that South Lake Tahoe is surrounded by mountains, this will be a difficult day for the peloton. The riders will face summits in excess of 7,300-feet leading to what promises to be a climatic finish.
Stage 3 – Elk Grove to Sacramento, May 13, 2017
The Amgen Tour of California welcomes the City of Elk Grove as a first-time Host City. The women’s penultimate stage will feature one of the most beautiful parks in Elk Grove, before heading south to the California “Delta Region”. While this stage is flat and a welcome relief for the tired legs coming out of the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe, the winds in the Delta can be menacing and unpredictable. The Sacramento River will lead the riders into Sacramento for an exciting sprint finish in front of the Capitol building.
Stage 4 – Sacramento, May 14, 2017
A fan and racer favorite, the women will take center stage on the finishing circuits around the State Capitol building in Sacramento. The day of racing will be fast and furious and one to remember. If you love watching the men on these circuits, wait until you see the women tearing up the road as they protect the yellow jersey and deliver their sprinter to win on this final day of racing for the women.
Amgen Tour of California (Men’s Race)
Stage 1 – Sacramento, May 14, 2017
The California State Capital hosted the Amgen Tour of California overall finish in 2016, so it is only fitting that it returns for the overall start in 2017. This will be a flat and fast stage that will conclude with exciting finishing circuits.
Stage 2 – Modesto to San Jose, May 15, 2017
It is great to be returning to Modesto. This will be a difficult mountain stage with six climbs and an uphill finish. Fans can expect all of the race favorites to be in the top 10 on the leader board after the conclusion of this stage.
Stage 3 – Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, May 16, 2017
California’s Central Coast and San Luis Obispo County have long been race favorites over the years. This stage will feature another start near the ocean in Pismo Beach and a first-time finish near the harbor in Morro Bay. The stage is designed for a craft sprinter who can handle an uphill sprint to the finish.
Stage 4 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, May 17, 2017
Stage 4 returns to a favorite race start along the beach in Santa Barbara. This will be a familiar course for many of the riders and will feature a fan favorite – Balcom Canyon – concluding with an expected mass sprint finish in Santa Clarita.
Stage 5 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy, May 18, 2017
Mt. Baldy, the Queen Stage! A 26-mile climb to the finish! Switchbacks! Massive crowds! It has been two years since the race rocked the Angeles National Forest and we are back again by popular demand. The fun will start in the City of Ontario setting the riders on a course that will lead the race north up the main artery and a climb will begin and the legs will start to burn. This will also be the site for the amateurs to test their mettle at the annual L’Etape public ride which wil precede the professional race.
Stage 6 – Big Bear Lake Individual Time Trial, May 19, 2017
The riders will take out their revenge on this technical 15-mile course. While it is flat, the 6,800-foot elevation around Big Bear Lake will certainly sap the strength from many of the riders on this penultimate day.
Stage 7 – Mountain High to Pasadena, May 20, 2017
The Amgen Tour of California returns to the Mountain High ski resort for the start of the final stage. While this will be a fast and largely downhill run into Pasadena, the riders will have two significant climbs that will top out at over 7,900 feet. The crowds in Pasadena will be watching the top teams try to deliver their sprinter to the line to claim the finish.
Title sponsor Amgen has been a race partner since race inception. In 2005, Amgen launched Breakaway from Cancer®, its national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer - from prevention through survivorship. Last year, Amgen expanded its platform as it launched Breakaway from Heart Disease™, aimed at encouraging Americans to take charge of their heart health by understanding their family’s history of heart disease and getting active through cycling. To learn more, visit breakawayfromcancer.com and breakawayfromheartdisease.com.
"At Amgen, our mission is to serve patients, and for more than 35 years we have used science and innovation to dramatically improve lives," said Raymond C. Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. "Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California gives us the opportunity to help patients impacted by cardiovascular disease and cancer take charge of their disease. The Breakaway from Heart Disease and Breakaway from Cancer initiatives give patients and their loved ones vital education and resources to help them through their journey".
To experience the race as a VIP from an all-inclusive hospitality tent or through exclusive once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, visit the Amgen Tour of California website at amgentourofcalifornia.com/vipaccess or call (213) 742-7145.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race featuring both men’s and women’s competitions created and presented by AEG. America's biggest stage race challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course across hundreds of miles of California's iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. The Amgen Tour of California is part of the UCI WorldTour along with the premier races in the world, and awards world-ranking points to top finishers. More information is available at amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company. With offices on five continents, AEG operates in the following business segments: AEG Facilities, which is affiliated with or owns, manages or consults with more than 120 preeminent arenas, stadiums, theaters, clubs and convention centers around the world including The O2 Arena, the Sprint Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas; AEG Live, which is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global and regional concert tours, music and special events and world-renowned festivals; AEG Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE; AEG Sports, which is the world’s largest operator of sports franchises and high-profile sporting events; and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships including naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships. Through its worldwide network of venues, portfolio of powerful sports and music brands, AXS.com ticketing platform, AXS cable television channel and its integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 100 million guests annually. More information about AEG can be found at www.aegworldwide.com.
Cassandra Zebisch, AEG
Josh Levitt, Canvas Blue