The 2019 Amgen Tour of California will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history, with details announced today by AEG, owner and presenter of America’s only UCI WorldTour race.
Throughout seven stages over seven days (May 12-18, 2019), the world’s elite professional cyclists will contest mountain roads, highways and coastlines from Sacramento to Pasadena. The 773-mile course through 13 Host Cities will ante up 14 Sprints, more than 68,000 feet of elevation gain and 25 King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs, the most in race history, and a fan-favorite Mt. Baldy summit finish. More than half of the seven stages feature 120+-mile courses.
With seven new courses between them, the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will run concurrently May 16-18, using many of the same routes as the men’s course. Also the longest women’s race in event history, the 177.8-mile, three-stage road race course will see the athletes climb more than 20,800 feet, including eight QOMs.
The Amgen Tour of California is designed to cover varied terrain, with opportunities for sprinters, climbers and general classification riders to shine throughout the week. Presented by Visit California, a visual overview of the men’s and women’s courses is viewable at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
“The Amgen Tour of California is the pinnacle of cycling in America. The 2019 race course is incredibly demanding – there’s more climbing and more long road days than ever before. With the best of the best in cycling coming to California to contest it, we are in for another memorable race,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “We look forward to shining a spotlight on the beauty of California and the dedication of these athletes for fans, in person and via the worldwide broadcast, in what will be one of the most exciting sporting events in the country this year.”
Covering part of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California course on the steep hills of Mt. Baldy near Los Angeles, the annual L’Etape California by Le Tour de France public ride will return to Southern California this spring to take cycling enthusiasts on a mountain adventure. Riders of all levels can experience the essence of the Tour de France one month before the watching the professionals attack the Alps. Participants can expect spectacular views, peaceful twisting roads, and an abundance of climbing in this year’s edition. Save the date of Sunday, June 9, 2019 and stay tuned for more details on registration opening on February 20, 2019.
2019 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA ROUTE ANNOUNCEMENT PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
MEN’S ROUTE: 773 miles / 1,244 km WOMEN’S ROUTE: 177.8 miles / 286 km
May 12-18 (7 Stages) May 16-18 (3 Stages)
KOMs: 25 QOMs: 8
Elevation Gain: 68,374’ Elevation Gain: 20,803’
Sprints: 14 Sprints: 3
STAGE 1 PRESENTED BY AMGEN
SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019
88.9 miles / 143 km
Elevation Gain: 200’
Sprints: Winters, Sacramento
Expected Outcome: Field sprint
Sacramento is known as one of the most sports-friendly cities in the country, and this year will mark its 10th time hosting the race. Stage 1 will begin with the men rolling out of Sacramento across the iconic Tower Bridge, passing through West Sacramento, then hugging the Sacramento River into the city of Woodland. From there, the race will travel across several rural roads in Yolo County. A quick dash and sprint in the Town of Winters will see the race turn east and heading back downtown for the fast finish.
This 88.8-mile stage is a sprinter’s paradise, and a rare day of no KOMs and no elevation gains. Race fans waiting near the finish in the shadow of the State Capitol Building will be rewarded with the peloton barreling down L street for three loops around the infamous Sacramento circuit. Sacramento has never failed to deliver one of the most exciting race finishes on the World Tour Calendar.
STAGE 2 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019
Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe
120.9 miles / 194.5 km
Elevation Gain: 14,522’
Sprints: Placerville, Luther Pass
Expected Outcome: Select group
The Amgen Tour of California welcomes the City of Rancho Cordova as a new stage host. While the start is just a 15-minute drive from the Stage 1 finish, this day of racing will be the polar opposite of Stage 1. The stage will start at sea level. By the end of the day, the racers will have amassed nearly 15,000’ of climbing over 121-miles of racing. Heading east from the start, the route will follow White Rock Road through El Dorado Hills then connect with the Stage 6 course from 2018. Once again, racers will enjoy the huge crowds and warm hospitality in Placerville before heading onto the picturesque Mormon Emigrant Trail and Hwy 88, one of the most beautiful roads in California where the peloton will zip through lush forests and past bass-laden lakes.
They will also encounter some serious elevation. The KOM at Carson pass tops out at 8,620’, the highest point the race has ever reached in its 14 years. A long descent will allow the riders a short rest, but a left turn onto Hwy 89 will take them to the top of Luther Pass and into South Lake Tahoe. For those that have raced to South Lake Tahoe in previous years, they know that a brutal finish up the steep roads to the Heavenly ski area finish looms ahead.
STAGE 3 PRESENTED BY TAG Heuer
TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019
Stockton to Morgan Hill
128.6 miles / 207 km
Elevation Gain: 9,667’
Sprints: Mines Road, San Jose
Expected Outcome: Field sprint
The City of Stockton returns for its third stage start, near the waterfront and Stockton Arena. After a short circuit through town, the race route will wend its way through the city as it heads southwest toward Morgan Hill. This will not be a recovery day for some weary legs in the peloton – within 20 miles, the riders will face “the Wall” on Patterson Pass Road, the first of five climbs and 10,000’ of climbing.
Heading east of Livermore, the riders will turn onto Mines Road and toward the HC climb up Mt. Hamilton. Over the next 22 miles of climbing and descending, the racers will encounter two climbs with a total of 25 switchbacks and two very technical descents with another 25 hairpin turns. Local racers claim that descending Mt. Hamilton can be more challenging than the ascent. The race will then return to the eastern slopes of San Jose and into Morgan Hill, site of the 2018 time trial stage. Spectators will line the streets as they await the teams to tee up their sprinters for a classic field sprint to finish near the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center.
STAGE 4 PRESENTED BY LEXUS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2019
Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay
132 miles / 212.5 km
Elevation Gain: 11,758’
Sprints: Hwy 1, San Simeon
Expected Outcome: Field sprint
It has been five years since a southbound route on Hwy 1. In 2017, a monstrous landslide dumped more than 1 million tons of dirt and rocks onto a .25 mile stretch of the iconic Hwy 1 south of Big Sur. This stage will be a celebration of a massive achievement by Caltrans to reopen the iconic coastal stretch.
After a short climb out of the start at Laguna Seca, the race will pass through Seaside, Monterey and Carmel. Hwy 1 typifies the beauty of the state and features a gentle rolling landscape that drivers may not register, but the cyclists will certainly feel the 11,758′ of climbing on this stage. Past Ragged Point, the course will flatten out for the second sprint of the day in San Simeon.
A fan-favorite, the Morro Bay finish will follow the route from 2017, where Peter Sagan won the sprint finish. After passing through Morro Bay State Park, riders will get their first glimpse of the iconic Morro Rock. A right turn off the Embarcadero, with Morro Rock over their shoulders, will put the racers onto a steep sprint to the finish on Harbor Street.
MEN’S STAGE 5 / WOMEN’S STAGE 1 PRESENTED BY LEXUS
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019
M: Pismo Beach to Ventura / W: Ventura
M: 135.8 miles / 218.5 km W: 60 miles / 96.5 km
KOMs: 5 QOMs: 5
Elevation Gain: 9,681’ Elevation Gain: 4,885
Sprints: Orcutt, Ventura Sprints: Ventura
Expected Outcome: Field sprint
This stage will highlight the best of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, which have long been the cornerstone of the Amgen Tour of California. The men’s race will return to Pismo Beach for its third race start. With the beach and refurbished pier as the backdrop, the race will head south on Hwy 1 through Grover Beach, Oceano and Guadalupe, with the first of two sprints in Orcutt. Within a few miles, the race will reach Foxen Canyon and the home of countless world-class vineyards and wineries. As the race leaves the vineyards and jumps onto Hwy 154 in Los Olivos, the riders will enter the feed zone to replenish some calories. Ahead lays the grueling category climb up San Marcos Pass. A wicked fast descent into Santa Barbara will put the race onto Hwy 192 and through the heart of the storm and fire damage from late 2017 and early 2018, where state, county and local agencies have worked tirelessly to repair roads and replace bridges.
After leaving Hwy 192, the stage’s final two categorized climbs lie ahead on Casitas Pass. The finish will be within a few miles once the cyclist enter Ventura, which hosted its first stage last year. Riders will contest the final sprint at the summit of a short 12% climb up Fero Drive. The final miles to the Ventura finish line will be intense as the teams set up their sprinters for a field sprint along the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, the women will contest a relatively short but punchy day of racing with five QOMs. The out and back course starts and finishes in Ventura. The final 35 miles is the same route the men will use coming into Ventura for their Stage 5 finish later in the day.
MEN’S STAGE 6 / WOMEN’S STAGE 2 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019
Ontario to Mt. Baldy: Queen Stage
M: 79.2 miles / 127.5 km W: 46 miles / 74 km
KOMs: 3 QOMs: 2
Elevation Gain: 14,040’ Elevation Gain: 8,416
Sprints: San Antonio Heights, Glendora Sprints: Glendora
Expected Outcome: Select group or individual
This stage has seen legends made and winners decided. After four consecutive stages averaging 130 miles per day, the riders would normally look forward to a 79-mile stage with only three climbs…but not with Mt. Baldy looming! This “Queen Stage” is compared to the epic stages of the European Grand Tours. It is very possible that the winner of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California will be decided on the final 15 switchbacks to the Mt. Baldy finish.
A return to the mountaintop finish that thrilled so many fans in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017, this is the top training ground for many Southern California racers. Only a handful have done the entire route, but after the 2017 race, this is now one of hottest Strava segments in the U.S.
This will be the fourth time the City of Ontario has hosted the men’s Mt. Baldy stage, and the first time the women will contest it. The race will begin at the Citizens Bank Arena. Because of the complexities of men’s and women’s races sharing an “out and back” course, the women will use a slightly different route to Mt. Baldy. The final 20.5 miles of their course is the same to reach the common finish.
This year’s route will head north into the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Upland. From there, the riders will start an 11-mile climb to the Village of Mt. Baldy. After an acute left, the racers will face another mile of climbing up Glendora Ridge Road to the first of three monster KOMs. They will cover 12 miles of narrow and twisting roads that lead to a fast and technical descent down the backside of Glendora Mountain Road. Riders and fans alike can expect spectacular vistas throughout the Angeles National Forest. Another descent down East Fork will take the riders to Highway 39 and the town of Azusa. Heading east, they’ll race through the outskirts of Glendora.
A left turn onto the locally infamous Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) will invite the peloton to a grueling 9-mile climb to the second KOM of the day followed by 12 miles of a slight climb back to Mt. Baldy Village. A left turn back onto Mt. Baldy Road will see the race gain 1,000‘ in three miles, before the real climbing has even started! At Ice House Canyon, the route will make a hard left turn where the sign to the ski area points toward the sky. Over the next 2.5 miles, the riders will face 10 switchbacks on a road that is so steep the team busses cannot make it to the top. With 1.2 miles to go, the road will straighten out but still climb at 15%. At .25 miles to go, the route will make a hard left and the racers will face the final five switchbacks to the finish line.
MEN’S STAGE 7 / WOMEN’S STAGE 3 PRESENTED BY AMGEN
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019
SANTA CLARITA – PASADENA
M: 87.6 miles / 141 km W: 71.8 miles / 115.5 km
KOMs: 2 QOMs: 1
Elevation Gain: 8,506’ Elevation Gain: 7,502
Sprints: Acton, Angeles Crest Highway Sprints: Acton
Expected Outcome: Field sprint
Santa Clarita and Pasadena have a storied tradition of hosting the Amgen Tour of California grand conclusion. While this may look like an easy stage on paper, there will be challenges from start to finish as teams protect their GC riders from attacks and set up their sprinters to win the stage. The race’s traditional start in Santa Clarita will be at the Town Center Mall. The route will then turn north out of the city on Soledad Canyon Road, through the Antelope Valley, to the first sprint of the day in Acton. Turing onto Aliso Canyon Road, the riders will work their way onto Angeles Forest Hwy and into the Angeles National Forest.
The first climb will come at Mill Creek Summit, then downhill and left onto Upper Big Tujunga to the final climb of the race at the intersection with Angeles Crest Highway. It will be downhill as the riders pass Redbox and Mt. Wilson. A quick dash through La Canada Flintridge will take the race down Rosemont Avenue to the famed Rose Bowl for the ultimate race finish.
This stage shares a common start and finish for the women and men, with two slight differences. Whereas the women will come straight up Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest Highway, the men will turn on Upper Tujunga to add mileage and one final climb. The women conclude the day first, coming to the finish line and completing one lap. Just as they began the week with three Capitol circuits during Stage 1 in Sacramento, the men will blaze through three circuits of the Rose Bowl to conclude the race.
Following the awards ceremony, the Rose Bowl will be hosting the inaugural Rose Pedal open streets event, where attendees can cycle, run, or walk the closed course and participate in fitness activities for the remainder of the day.
Portions of the route affected by adverse weather and natural events will be inspected up until race time, and race routes are subject to change to ensure fan and rider safety.