AMGEN BIKE TOUR RACES INTO SOUTH LAKE TAHOE AND THE CARSON VALLEY MAY 18-19
Sierra Rec Magazine – The Carson Valley – May 16, 2018 – Men and Women World Champions, Olympic Medalists and Tour de France Veterans Set to Compete in America’s Biggest Race this weekend in Lake Tahoe. The top cycling teams in the world on the men’s side have already started in California and will be ending this weekend with a stage that carries them to the shores of South Lake Tahoe, then the Women will take center stage with an early mountain challenge starting South Lake and be traversing Luther Pass, The Carson Valley and Kingsbury Grade.
The 2018 edition of America’s premier cycling stage race for men covers 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento May 13-19 while the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists, will run concurrently May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages.
The annual professional cycling events are the only U.S. races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and continue to attract some of the most renowned cyclists and teams in the world, including UCI’s top-five ranked men’s WorldTour teams at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
“The Amgen Tour of California has long been dedicated to elevating women’s cycling. It’s a special race that attracts the highest level of competition and is a major focus on our calendar every year,” said Ronny Lauke, Team Manager, Canyon//SRAM.
Three of the current top-five UCI ranked teams will compete in the three-day women’s competition, which will kick off May 17 in Elk Grove, Calif. UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall (Oakland, Calif.), who claimed Stage 2 last year in South Lake Tahoe, is expected to return to the world-class peloton, as is three-time National Champion and 2016 race champion Megan Guarnier (San Mateo, Calif.) with the USA Cycling National Team. Canyon//SRAM is likely to mount an early race favorite Kasia Niewiadoma, who is stacking up early season results, and Ventura, Calif. native Alexis Ryan. Phenom Chloé Dygert is likely to race with TWENTY20 Pro Cycling p/b Sho-Air along with San Diego native Jennifer Valente, who together won silver in the 2016 Olympic team pursuit. Tustin, Calif.-based Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), who blazed to a Stage 3 victory last year, plans to return on the heels of her historic Tour of Flanders win earlier this spring.
“The team and I had some great results at the Amgen Tour of California last year and we will be back this year looking to build on that – it’s a fun race in beautiful locations, plus holds a lot of personal meaning for me being in my home state and country,” said Southern California native Coryn Rivera.
Presented by Visit California, a visual overview of the men’s and women’s courses is viewable at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/2018-route-overview.
Stages that can be viewed in or near the Sierra this weekend.
Men’s Stage 6 – Folsom to South Lake Tahoe – Friday, May 18th
Distance: 122.1 mi / 196.5 km
Start Time: 9:40 AM PST
Est. Finish: 3:41 PM PST
Having hosted the Individual Time Trial on two occasions, the City of Folsom has been a fantastic partner of the Amgen Tour of California. For the 2018 race, they commence the start of what is guaranteed to be a memorable Stage 6. From the start, the route heads uphill. Over the course of this 123-mile route, the peloton climbs nearly 16,000 feet over four KOMs, even finishing uphill at the Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe.
Men’s Stage 7 – Final Stage – Sacramento 0 Saturday, May 19th
Distance: 88.9 mi / 143 km
Start Time: 10:15 AM PST
Est. Finish: 1:39 PM PST
Once again, Sacramento shows why the city is regarded as one of the most sports-friendly cities in the U.S. This will be the Amgen Tour of California’s 9th year in the Golden State Capitol and each year is more thrilling than the last. The 2018 festivities start with the men rolling out of Sacramento across the iconic Tower Bridge into West Sacramento. For the men, this stage is for the sprinters. There are no KOMs and virtually no elevation gain for the day, finishing with three loops around the infamous Capital Circuit. Only an hour after the men start, the women begin their final stage on the circuit. Sacramento has never failed to furnish one of the most exciting race finishes on the World Tour calendar, so let’s see who delivers in 2018.
Women’s Stages in the Sierra
Stage 1 – Elk Grove Thursday, May 17th
Distance: 77.1 mi / 124 km
Start Time: 11:05 AM PST
Est. Finish: 2:25 PM PST
The opening stage for the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM returns to the City of Elk Grove. The race will start and finish in front of the new Aquatic Center and Commons on Civic Center Drive. This is just a half mile from where the men will finish their Stage 5. The women’s race winds through one of Elk Grove’s newer residential areas before turning south onto Franklin Boulevard and into the San Joaquin Valley and the rural California Delta region. The stage will tour several of the area’s beautiful riverbank and wetlands such that it will surely be a visual odyssey for the spectators and riders alike. Hugging the Sacramento River and several of its larger sloughs, this will be a flat and fast 80-mile route that should guarantee a day for the sprinters and an exciting finish back in Elk Grove.
Stage 2 – South Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley Friday, May 18th
Distance: 67.1 mi / 108 km
Start Time: 11:00 AM PST
Est. Finish: 2:21 PM PST
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM takes to the high mountains once again for Stage 2. This stage produced an epic result in 2017 and will surely live up to expectations in 2018. The 70-mile stage features three QOMs, including the 7,740′ summit of Luther Pass and the now legendary Kingsbury Grade. This monster of a climb is 8 miles in length, gains 2,600 feet, and rises an average of 6%. The “Grade” had never been attempted in any previous Amgen Tour of California until last year, when the women demolished it. It was so epic that we had to include it again. Let’s see what the rest of this tantalizing route has to offer.
Stage 3 will see the ladies finish their race schedule in Sacramento on Saturday like the men.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Women’s Race empowered with SRAM are Tour de France-style cycling road races created and presented by AEG. Running concurrently, the races challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along demanding courses that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions, and award important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at amgentourofcalifornia.com.
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Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
Photos and Videos Courtesy of the Amgen Tour. Hero Image South Lake Tahoe Stage 2016.