Amgen Tour of California — Stage 2

San Francisco — Santa Cruz County (117.1 miles/188.5 km)

Monday, May 14

Start: 11:05 a.m. PST

Earliest Estimated Finish: 3:41 p.m. PST

Stage 2 begins in San Francisco’s Marina District, with the start line butting up against the city’s break wall; the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island loom in the background of a start that promises to be lively. Shortly after the rollout, the peloton will head through the Presidio and press down Highway 1 through the San Francisco suburbs before it’s all business: Bonny Doon, a stage-defining climb in years past, awaits.

UnitedHealthcare’s Rory Sutherland, fresh off his win at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, said the Bonny Doon climb has the potential to determine the stage, though it’s followed by another climb before the finish. “It’s pretty hard,” Sutherland said. “I know the Bonny Doon climb pretty well… It’s been a deciding point in previous editions as well. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.”

After Bonny Doon, the race pushes on for another 42 miles and another climb, Bear Creek Road. The race will finish fast in Aptos, with a hard right turn 200 feet out from the finish, setting up what could be a selective sprint. The climb should have sorted out the peloton a touch, but it’s a good bet that a passel of sprinters will still be in the hunt, as the big climbs are yet to come.

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The leaders on Bonny Doon in 2010. Photo: Photo: Casey B. Gibson |