In 2017, the UCI granted WorldTour status to the race, elevating it as one of cycling's premier events. German sprinter Marcel Kittel took his first Amgen Tour of California stage win in on opening day, but a four-rider breakaway on Stage 2 shook the general classification. Kiwi rider George Bennett joined Rafal Majka of Poland, Ian Boswell of the United States and Lachlan Morton of Australia on the way to the uphill finish out of San Jose, and the quartet put more than half a minute into the remaining GC contenders. Majka took the stage win and the yellow jersey. Peter Sagan added a stage win in Morro Bay in a thrilling uphill sprint by the beach, and Stage 4 saw Rally Cycling duo Evan Huffman and Rob Britton finishing first and second, respectively. Majka was able to hold off attacks during the Queen stage climb to Mt. Baldy, while Bennett stayed within six seconds of Majka in the overall. Majka suffered on the Big Bear Lake time trial course at altitude and slipped behind Bennett in the overall. Bennett would maintain his advantage through the final stage in Pasadena.
In its second year on the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM field was flush with National Champions and Olympians. Seventeen teams of six riders faced off over a 256.6-mile course during four stages. The race started off with a familiar Lake Tahoe loop. The riders remained in South Lake Tahoe for Stage 2 to challenge a 67-mile Queen Stage, then left altitude for Stages 3 and 4, which included a California Delta Region course from Elk Grove and a return to Sacramento for the popular circuit finish.
Megan Guarnier (USA), the 2016 champion, took the Stage 1 victory, but Katie Hall (USA) moved into the overall lead after climbing to a Stage 2 win. California native Coryn Rivera, the race’s 2010 criterium champion, became the third stage winner in as many days. On the final day, 2016 Olympic road race gold medalist Anna van der Breggen (NED) earned valuable sprint points during the Sacramento circuit for the overall win and the yellow jersey, finishing one second ahead of Hall. The Queen of the Mountain title went to Hall, and Italian Giorgia Bronzini was the fourth different winner of the four stages.
The race returned to the south again in 2016 for a start in San Diego, and Peter Sagan picked up where he left off, winning the opening stage and donning the yellow jersey. His time in the jersey was limited as Americans Ben King and Evan Huffman escaped on the way from Pasadena to Santa Clarita the next day. The duo stuck the breakaway, with King taking the win and the overall lead. Julian Alaphilippe would not be denied during the Stage 3 Queen stage to Gibraltar Road outside of Santa Barbara. The Frenchman won the stage by 15 seconds over American Peter Stetina. Alaphilippe held a death grip on his overall lead as Sagan won the next stage to Laguna Seca Racetrack and Toms Skujins took another California stage win as the race returned to Tahoe. Alaphilippe weathered the storm and claimed the overall win.
The 2016 edition was the first North American stage race of the inaugural UCI Women's WorldTour and featured the first Team Time Trial in race history. The four-day, four-stage race opened with a clockwise loop of Lake Tahoe. Stage 2 was the Team Time Trial in Folsom, followed by a 64-mile loop in Santa Rosa for Stage 3, and finishing with the thrilling Sacramento circuit race in Stage 4. The race roster included six of the top-10 UCI ranked cyclists, 11 World Champions and multiple Olympians over 18 teams.
U.S. National Road Race Champion Megan Guarnier seized the race lead in South Lake Tahoe on Stage 1 and held it through the end. After four days and 197.8 miles, she entered the final stage with a 15-second advantage and came away as the 2016 champion. Guarnier also won the overall Points classification. Kristin Armstrong (USA), two-time winner of the race’s Individual Time Trial, and her team won the Team Time Trial by six seconds, and Armstrong finished second overall in her final Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM as a competitor.
Peter Sagan added to his California legend, putting in a remarkable ride on the Queen stage to Mt. Baldy to limit his losses to Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, and then stealing the overall victory by two seconds with a time bonus on the final sprint in Pasadena. Sagan started in Sacramento with a second-place finish to Mark Cavendish. He was second to Cavendish again during the Stage 2 sprint in Lodi, and he lost out to Toms Skujins during Stage 3 to San Jose. Sagan couldn't be denied for long, however, taking the Stage 4 uphill sprint in Avila Beach. Cavendish added another stage win in Santa Clarita on Stage 5, setting up a battle for the GC in the next day's planned time trial at Big Bear Lake. Overnight snow caused organizers to move to a 10km test in an amusement park at sea level, and Sagan won the shortened race, knocking Skujins from the lead. Alaphilippe won the Queen stage to Mt. Baldy and took the overall lead, but Sagan shocked everyone, including himself, by finishing sixth on the stage, placing just two seconds behind Alaphilippe with one sprint stage remaining. Sagan's third place the next day in Pasadena was enough to lift him past Alaphilippe in the final overall standings by three seconds.
In 2015, the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race became the first-ever event to feature four days of women's racing. Fourteen teams competed over three days and 158 miles of stage racing, now sanctioned by the UCI, followed by an invitational Time Trial. Road racing began with a 74.5-mile, counter-clockwise loop around Lake Tahoe. Stage 2 featured a scenic, two-lap, 25-mile circuit with a switchback QOM in South Lake Tahoe, and Stage 3 showcased the sprinters over 17 laps of a fast, 2-mile circuit in Sacramento. With the leaders separated by only seconds after two days of racing, the final road stage came to a thrilling conclusion withTrixi Worrack (GER) posting a powerful ride to claim the yellow jersey. Leah Kirchmann (CAN) topped the podium in both Stage 2 and Stage 3, finishing second overall and taking home the sprint jersey.
Weather forced a shift of the fifth annual Amgen Tour of California Women’s Invitational Time Trial from altitude in Big Bear Lake to a fast and flat 6.6-mile course around Santa Clarita and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The podium took shape late with 2013 champion Evelyn Stevens (USA) blazing to a time of 14:12 and dispatching Lauren Stephens (USA), who ended in second by four seconds. Two-time Amgen Tour of California Time Trial winner Kristin Armstrong’s ride earned her third place (+:7) in the field of 22 of the top time trialists.
A British invasion of sorts arrived in California as 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain brought his team to the race. Fellow Briton Mark Cavendish started things off with a win during the opening stage in Sacramento, and Wiggins followed the next day with the time trial victory in Folsom and seizing the leader's jersey he'd wear for the rest of the race. Taylor Phinney surprised the bunch on the Stage 5 run from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara, holding off the peloton for a solo victory. Peter Sagan grabbed another stage win – Stage 7 in Santa Clarita. Cavendish closed things out as he started, winning in Thousand Oaks.
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California featured more professional women’s racing than any previous race of its kind on U.S. soil with two days of competition. Twenty elite teams (108 riders) from around the world competed in a circuit race in Sacramento, followed by a time trial with 20 of the sport’s best the next day in Folsom.
The 1.25-mile circuit around the State Capitol featured aggressive riding and attacks from the beginning, with speeds on the four-corner course averaging 27.5 mph. Carmen Small (USA) sprung to the front of the tightly packed bunch in the final moments of the exciting, all-out sprint to the finish line. Coryn Rivera (USA) claimed second place in Sacramento, followed by Brianna Walle (USA) taking third. The next day, Alison Powers (USA) clinched her first Amgen Tour of California time trial victory on the fast and flat 12.5-mile course in Folsom, setting the pace during her entire ride for a final time of 27:20.65. Walle had another strong performance to take second place, and Tayler Wiles (USA) finished third (+:25), just ahead of her teammate and the race’s 2013 Time Trial champion Evelyn Stevens (USA) in fourth (+:26).
The race saw a changing of the guard in 2013 as American Tejay van Garderen took his first and only win in the race. The 2013 edition also opened a new page with a start in the south end of the state in Escondido. Van Garderen was second in Stage 2 and in the GC after the stage. During Stage 5 to Avila Beach, popular German and current race ambassador Jens Voigt took his second-ever Amgen Tour of California stage win. Van Garderen extended his lead with a win in the individual time trial in San Jose and consolidated it with a third-place finish in the Queen stage to Mount Diablo. Peter Sagan added another stage win on the final day in Santa Rosa as van Garderen secured the overall win.
A new champion topped the podium at the third annual Amgen Tour of California Women's Time Trial Race. Fifteen of the fastest professional cyclists in the world faced off on the 19.6-mile course. American Evelyn Stevens, who in her cycling career won four gold medals in the women's team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships and holds the UCI Hour record for women, attacked the course’s final climb and crossed the line with a time of 55:49 to win. Mid-way through her race, Stevens, the penultimate starter, was caught by Alison Powers (USA), the final starter. Stevens’ climbing prowess paid dividends as she powered ahead on the 1.7-mile climb to the finish. Powers ended in second place (56:46) for the second consecutive year, and Kristin McGrath (USA) took third (57:12).
Peter Sagan was back and cemented his race legacy with five wins in eight stages, taking the first four stages before slipping off the podium during the Stage 5 Time Trial. He was second on Stage 6 to Big Bear Lake only because a solo breakaway rider denied him the win, and he let the climbers and GC riders battle it out on the way to Mt. Baldy on Stage 7. He finished it off with a win on the final day in Los Angeles. The 2012 edition headed north for its start again with the opening stage starting and finishing in Santa Rosa. From there it visited San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Livermore, Sonora, Clovis, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
The second Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial Race took place in Bakersfield. The rolling 18.4-mile course finished with an 8% climb on the China Grade Loop. The hills and hot, breezy conditions didn’t slow Kristin Armstrong (USA) as she easily defended her title in the invitation-only race, which set the stage for her to also win a second consecutive Olympic gold medal two months later in London. In Bakersfield, Armstrong covered the course in 39:59, topping second-place Alison Powers (USA) by more than one minute. Jade Wilcoxson (USA) finished third.
The race's first attempt to include Lake Tahoe unfortunately fell victim to unpredictable mountain weather when a foot of snow fell on the route. A caravan and made its way down to Nevada City to get things under way with what would have been Stage 2. Great Britain's Ben Swift took the first stage win in Sacramento and wore the first leader's jersey of the race. American Chris Horner stole the show on the climb up Sierra Road outside San Jose. Horner put 1:15 into his GC rivals, including teammate Levi Leipheimer, who was able to claw time back in the Stage 6 time trial in Solvang. In the end, Leipheimer and Horner finished in first and second, respectively, on the climb to Mt. Baldy, allowing Horner to seal his first California victory the next day in Thousand Oaks.
The 2011 race shifted formats and the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women's International Time Trial Challenge was held in Solvang. The race was a 13-person invitational, showcasing some of the best athletes in the world on a 15-mile course. American Kristin Armstrong, the 2008 Olympic Individual Time Trial gold medalist and two-time World champion in the event, was an early favorite as she was preparing to defend her Olympic title in London. Facing a headwind throughout the course, Armstrong dominated and finished 13 seconds ahead of her Olympic teammate Amber Neben, with Germany’s Charlotte Becker in third. “I took every corner with 110 percent risk, took chances today and that’s why I’m here,” Armstrong said after her win.
Lance Armstrong was back for another helping as the race moved from February to May. This race also saw the emergence of a young Slovakian rider named Peter Sagan, who would take his first two stage wins on the way to holding the Amgen Tour of California record and earning the moniker “King of California.” The race featured eight stages with an individual time trial on the penultimate day in Los Angeles. Mark Cavendish took the opener from Nevada City to Sacramento. From there the race visited Davis, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Modesto, Visalia, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Big Bear Lake and Los Angeles. Sagan took his first-ever California win on Stage 5, the same day Australian Michael Rogers took control of the leader's jersey he'd wear through the end of the race. Sagan added a second win on Stage 6, and Dave Zabriske made a run at Rogers' lead, but the American came up just short when the race finished in Thousand Oaks. Levi Leipheimer rounded out the podium in third.
“I had the perfect lead-out and this was the perfect race,” said 17-year-old American Coryn Rivera after winning the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium in 2010. The women’s race moved to the streets of Sacramento for its third edition, and the 1.4-mile circuit started and finished in the shadow of the State Capitol Building. With the support of her teammates, Rivera, from Tustin, Calif., sprinted out of the bunch down the long straightaway finish for the victory. Modesta Vzesniauskaite, from Lithuania, finished second and Canadian Joelle Numainville was third.
Lance Armstrong made his first appearance at the race in 2009 as part of his comeback after three years of retirement to back two-time champion Levi Leipheimer. The race added a stage and now featured a prologue and eight road stages, starting with the short time trial in Sacramento. From there the race made its way south to finish in Escondido. Francisco Mancebo secured the win in a deluge of rain during Stage 1 along the coast from Davis to Santa Rosa, finishing more than a minute ahead of the GC favorites and taking the leader's jersey. Mancebo wouldn't have the lead long, as it went to Leipheimer the next day on the Bonny Doon climb outside Santa Cruz, and the two-time winner added his third title.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium returned for a second year to Santa Rosa. Cool, wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of an enthusiastic crowd, nor did it hinder another electrifying finish. Emilia Fahlin, the 20-year-old Swedish national champion, was part of an early break and noted there were “attacks going all the time” from the group of 13 women out front. The race’s 2008 champion, Brooke Miller (USA), jumped out with one lap to go, but Fahlin’s teammate Kim Anderson moved in and set up the perfect lead-out. Fahlin took advantage and sprinted to the win. Americans Lauren Tamayo and Rachel Lloyd rounded out the podium.
The Amgen Tour of California moved to Palo Alto for the start with a brand-new time trial course that was to the liking of stage winner Fabian Cancellara. It was the addition of Mt. Hamilton to Stage 3, with around 2,000 feet of climbing, that made the difference. Robert Gesink would take the stage win, but Levi Leipheimer seized the race lead, and he once again used the Stage 5 Solvang time trial, repeating his 2006 win, to add to his overall advantage. At the finish in Pasadena, Leipheimer claimed the overall win by 49 seconds over David Millar and by 1:08 over Christian Vande Velde.
Californian Brooke Miller won the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium in impressive fashion. Premiering during Stage 1 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, a strong field of 85 riders from some of the world’s top professional women's cycling teams were welcomed by thousands of fans lining the streets of Santa Rosa. The race was competitive from the start, and the 1.2-mile circuit ended in a drag race. With 50 meters to go, Miller passed world-class sprinter Laura Van Gilder (USA) to win. Emilia Fahlin (SWE) blasted out of the bunch sprint from behind to finish third. After her victory, Miller commented, “The racing was aggressive, fast and exciting.”
The eight-day 2007 race once again started in San Francisco with a prologue up Telegraph Hill, then it visited Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Seaside, San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita and Long Beach for the finish. The number of ProTour teams jumped from eight to nine, and it was Levi Leipheimer's year to shine. He repeated his prologue win from the year before then held off all challengers over the next seven stages to take the overall win, consolidating his lead by winning the 24km Stage 5 Time Trial in Solvang.
The Amgen Tour of California debuted with 8 days of racing that started in San Francisco. From there the race winded its way down the coast to the finish in Redondo Beach. Along the way the race visited Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks. Floyd Landis took the overall win in a race that was tilted toward the sprinters but also included a time trial on Stage 3, and he beat runner-up Dave Zabriske by 25 seconds. That would be the final podium, and Landis' only stage win. The 2006 race included three double stage winners: JJ Haedo, George Hincapie and Olaf Pollack.