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Amgen Tour of California announces 2014 host cities, two mountaintop finishes

Mount Diablo, Mountain High to see mountaintop finales before finish in Thousand Oaks

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The Amgen Tour of California will return to Sacramento for the start of the ninth edition of the race, AEG, presenter of the race, announced on Tuesday.

The eight-day stage race will traverse more than 700 miles along a route traveling north-to-south from May 11-18, 2014, traveling through 11 host communities, including Folsom, San Jose, Monterey, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Mountain High, Pasadena, and Thousand Oaks, as well as Mount Diablo.

Folsom, Cambria, Pismo Beach, and Mountain High are all first-time host cities.

“We strive to raise the bar each year to present an Amgen Tour of California that not only continues to attract and challenge the world’s top cyclists, but also fittingly features and promotes California’s unique sights and striking scenery,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports, in a press release. “We’re confident our worldwide audience will enjoy everything next year’s race has to offer — from epic climbs to rolling hills and thrilling finishes; it’s a testament to California’s iconic terrain.”

Stage 1 will begin and finish in the state’s capital, which previously hosted the prologue in 2009 as well as stage finishes in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011.

An individual time trial is on tap for stage 2 in nearby Folsom.

For stage 3, the peloton will return to San Jose, the only city to have participated in all nine editions of the race. Leaving the city, the field will travel north, gaining in elevation all the way to a summit finish atop Mount Diablo.

Stage 4 will begin in Monterey, then travel some 100 miles south to finish in the seaside village of Cambria.

Stage 5 will roll out from Pismo Beach, near the city’s sand dunes, continuing south before a finish in Santa Barbara.

Santa Clarita will host the start of stage 6, which will culminate in a second mountaintop finish, in Mountain High.

The peloton will return to Santa Clarita for the start of stage 7, before finishing in Pasadena.

The final stage of the Amgen Tour will start and finish in Thousand Oaks, home to the title sponsor, which previously hosted finishes in 2010 and 2011.

Amgen returns as the race’s title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. The race often draws some of the world’s top teams and riders as they look to hone their form for the Tour de France. American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) won the weeklong race in 2013, his first major stage-race win as a professional.

Final route details have yet to be announced.

2014 Amgen Tour of California:
Sunday May 11: Stage 1, Sacramento
Monday May 12: Stage 2, Folsom (ITT)
Tuesday May 13: Stage 3, San Jose to Mount Diablo
Wednesday May 14: Stage 4, Monterey to Cambria
Thursday May 15: Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
Friday May 16: Santa Clarita to Mountain High
Saturday May 17: Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Sunday May 18: Thousand Oaks