Amgen Tour of California — Stage 8

Beverly Hills — L.A. Live (44.7 miles/72 km)

Sunday, May 20

Start: 10:10 a.m. Pacific

Earliest Estimated Finish: 11:42 a.m. Pacific

The sprinters who survived California’s high mountains will have another go on this, the final day of the race. Over 44 miles, the peloton will roll through some of Los Angeles’ classic stops. From Santa Monica Boulevard, the field will follow the route of the L.A. Marathon to Sunset Boulevard, then to Hollywood and past Dodger Stadium.

After the sightseeing tour, the race will dive into a five-mile circuit that takes the peloton through Chinatown, past City Hall and the Biltmore Hotel, finishing near the Staples Center, at L.A. Live, an entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.

For Hanson, the race is a bit of a homecoming. “Home turf,” he said. The Palmdale to Big Bear stage (stage 6) rides by a ski area at which his parents were ski patrollers, and his family will be at the L.A. finish. “It’s cool, man. I’m a California boy, born and raised.”

The short stage smacks of a Tour de France-style final parade before the bunch finish, but the domestic teams likely won’t have that sort of venture in mind. It will be their last chance until August to show their jerseys on international television.

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Top three after the champagne fight. Leipheimer, Horner, and Danielson. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |
The final podium in 2011. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |