The 2017 Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s race routes were announced Tuesday by organizer AEG at a presentation in Los Angeles. For the first time, both races are UCI WorldTour events. The women race May 11-14, followed by the men, May 14-20.
The men’s route offers some familiar roads and host cities, such as Sacramento, which has been part of the race on nine occasions.
The stage 5 mountaintop finish on Mt. Baldy should be the most pivotal part of the 925-kilometer route, offering 3,658 meters (12,000 feet) of elevation gain on the run from Ontario to the ski station. The climb has been included three times in race history, most recently in 2015 when Peter Sagan held on for an unexpected overall victory.
If Baldy doesn’t decide the GC, the following day’s high-altitude time trial at Big Bear will be one final opportunity, although it is a short individual test at only 23km.
Otherwise, stages 1-4 should favor sprinters, or perhaps a strong breakaway. Stage 7, a mostly downhill route, will likely be a field sprint.
Now in its second year as a Women’s WorldTour race, the women’s Tour of California (officially known as Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM) will be a relatively familiar, four-day route. It is front-loaded with the two hardest days in stages 1 and 2, both in the South Lake Tahoe area. The stage 2 uphill finish at Heavenly ski resort, plus climbs of Luther Pass and Kingsbury Grade along the way, may decide the overall.
Megan Guarnier won the 2016 edition after taking the lead in stage 1 around Lake Tahoe.
The women’s race enters Sacramento via stage 3 from Elk Grove, a 118km flat route that will favor sprinters. It concludes the following day in the capital city with a 70km circuit race that will take place on a fast, 3.5km loop.
“I’ve applauded and supported the Amgen Tour of California over the past decade, and seen firsthand how much this important race has done to raise the profile of American cycling,” said three-time Olympic TT champion and race ambassador Kristin Armstrong. “The Amgen Tour of California showcases the best of cycling, and inspires the next generation of cyclists here.”
Men’s Amgen Tour of California 2017 route
Stage 1: Sacramento, 167.5km
Stage 2: Modesto to San Jose, 143km
Stage 3: Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, 183km
Stage 4: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, 161.5km
Stage 5: Ontario to Mt. Baldy, 125.5km
Stage 6: Big Bear Lake time trial, 23km
Stage 7: Mountain High to Pasadena, 124km
Women’s Tour of California 2017 route
Stage 1: South Lake Tahoe, 117km
Stage 2: South Lake Tahoe, 108 km
Stage 3: Elk Grove to Sacramento, 118km
Stage 4: Sacramento (circuit race), 70km