The Amgen Tour of California announced the host cities for its 2017 men’s and women’s races, the 12th running of the men’s race and the third edition of the women’s event.
The women’s race will start with a stage around Lake Tahoe, as it did in 2016 and 2015. Megan Guarnier (Boels – Dolmans) claimed that stage and went on to win the overall in 2016 and is expected to defend her title. “As an American, I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to race at the highest level on American soil. The Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM allows create the most professional platform to showcase women’s racing alongside the long-running men’s race,” she said.
From there, the women take on a hilly stage 2, a flat run from Elk Grove to Sacramento, and then the traditional circuit race around Sacramento, which was won by Kirsten Wild in 2016. There will be no time trial this year.
On that same Sunday, May 14, the seven-day men’s race will get underway with a start and finish in Sacramento that should feature finishing circuits on the same route as the women.
After a sprinter-friendly start, stage 2 will favor climbers with an uphill finish. Otherwise, the GC riders will have two other key stages to shine: the stage 5 summit finish on Mount Baldy, and the stage 6 individual time trial in Big Bear. Notably, this 15-mile time trial takes place at high altitude, which might make the outcome a bit less predictable.
While it’s unlikely that 2015 winner Peter Sagan will win the 2017 edition, he is expected to return to California. “Racing in the Amgen Tour of California is always one of my top priorities every year. While spectacular to watch from a scenic standpoint, the route is consistently tough and challenging and one that brings out the best in all of the riders,” said Sagan, winner of 15 stages at the race over seven consecutive starts.
Julien Alaphilippe won the 2016 edition of the men’s race.
Women’s race route
Thursday, May 11: Stage 1, South Lake Tahoe
Friday, May 12: Stage 2, South Lake Tahoe
Saturday, May 13: Stage 3, Elk Grove to Sacramento
Sunday, May 14: Stage 4, Sacramento
Men’s race route
Sunday, May 14: Stage 1, Sacramento
Monday, May 15: Stage 2, Modesto to San Jose
Tuesday, May 16: Stage 3, Pismo Beach to Morro Bay
Wednesday, May 17: Stage 4, Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Thursday, May 18: Stage 5, Ontario to Mt. Baldy (summit finish)
Friday, May 19: Stage 6, Big Bear Lake (individual time trial)
Saturday, May 20: Stage 7, Mountain High to Pasadena