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Amgen Tour of California organizers are expecting an aggressive race next spring on a route that will see both the men’s and women’s pelotons climb the always-challenging Mount Baldy.
The Tour of California unveiled the host cities and schedule for the upcoming 14th edition of the race Wednesday morning. The seven-day race will roll out from Sacramento on May 12 and head south from there, ultimately making its way to Southern California. The three-day Amgen Women’s Race will get underway in Ventura concurrently with the fifth stage of the men’s event, with both races finishing in Pasadena on May 18.
Past editions of the Tour of California have often featured a time trial, but next year’s race will eschew the TT. It’s a move that organizers expect will keep the race interesting throughout.
Mount Baldy and South Lake Tahoe — where Sky’s Egan Bernal rode into the race lead for good this year in California — should prove decisive in the men’s race. The presence of Mount Baldy in the women’s event is another change on tap for 2019. In having both fields take on the same highly-anticipated challenge, race planners hope to drive increased interest from fans and potential sponsors in the women’s race.
As usual, the sprinters will have their opportunities as well in both the men’s and women’s events in California. The race drew a star-studded lineup of fast finishers this year, and it will give them reasons to consider returning with a few high-speed finales expected again for next year’s race.
“We look forward to hosting another truly dynamic and engaging race, which will feature an all-star peloton, continuing the tradition of delivering one of the most exciting sporting events in the country,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports.
The Tour of California’s official host city announcement comes a few weeks later than initially planned, as organizers decided to delay the unveiling with wildfires raging across the state. In partnership with the Los Angeles Kings and parent company AEG Sports, the race made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross “in honor of the first responders and all who have been impacted.”
The wildfires have not, however, impacted the route for next year, with no changes required from the expected plan for 2019.
The 2019 Amgen Tour of California
Sunday, May 12: Stage 1 — Sacramento
Monday, May 13: Stage 2 — Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe
Tuesday, May 14: Stage 3 — Stockton to Morgan Hill
Wednesday, May 15: Stage 4 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay
Thursday, May 16: Stage 5 — Pismo Beach to Ventura
Friday, May 17: Stage 6 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Saturday, May 18: Stage 7 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Thursday, May 16: Stage 1 — Ventura
Friday, May 17: Stage 2 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Saturday, May 18: Stage 3 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena