AEG REVEALS HOST CITIES FOR 2016 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA; Monterey and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Welcome Stage 4
The 2016 Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG, will kick off this spring in the heart of San Diego for the first time in its 11-year history, make a stop at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and conclude in Sacramento, the first time the state capital will host the overall race finish. Competing across nearly 800 miles of quintessential California terrain from May 15-22, the course will lead World Champions, Olympic Medalists, top Tour de France competitors and other elite professional cyclists south to north for only the second time since the race began in 2006, with 12 cities to host starts and finishes along the way.
In addition to the men’s event, top professional women cyclists from around the world will converge during the latter half of the race to compete in the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, the most expansive women’s event in race history. The race will be the first U.S. event on the first-ever UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT).
“Each edition of the Amgen Tour of California is more challenging and more beautiful than the last, and I’m excited to say that this year will be no exception,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “With one of the longer courses in race history packed with iconic and fan-favorite locations, the highest caliber of racing on U.S. soil and four days of women’s racing, the worldwide audience the Amgen Tour of California continues to attract has something special to look forward to with the 2016 edition.”
The Amgen Tour of California is regarded as the most internationally respected and esteemed stage race in the U.S. and one of the largest sporting events in the country.
“Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is proud to have been chosen as the site of the conclusion of the fourth stage, and halfway point, of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “The tour will provide great exposure for the Monterey Peninsula, which is known for its strong and avid cycling community, so it is an honor to bring this prestigious cycling event to their back yard.”
“The Amgen Tour of California brings the perfect combination of stellar competition, amazing scenery and superior organization,” said Bradley Wiggins, the 2014 Amgen Tour of California Champion. “I look forward to returning to the Amgen Tour of California with Team Wiggins to once again take on the top competitors in the sport.”
“The Amgen Tour of California is an important race on the world cycling calendar because it attracts the best in the sport,” said long-time professional cyclist Jens Voigt, who will be returning as an Amgen Tour of California Ambassador for the second year. “It’s always a thrill to race (and cheer on the race) in such a beautiful place as California, and I’m proud to continue my role with the race. The outpouring of fans really makes it one of the best sporting experiences in the world.”
Stage 1 – San Diego, May 15, 2016
The Amgen Tour of California has entered North San Diego County twice before, but for the first time, the race will reach the heart of the city with Stage 1’s start and finish on the water near Mission Bay and downtown San Diego.
Stage 2 – South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, May 16, 2016
Stage 2 will begin in first-time Host City South Pasadena, with much of the race contested in the Angeles National Forest, ending with the stage conclusion in veteran Host City Santa Clarita. Of the 2016 lineup, Santa Clarita has the distinction of having hosted the most stages (11).
Stage 3 – Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County, May 17, 2016
As well as serving as a popular training ground for professional and weekend cyclists alike, Thousand Oaks is home to biotechnology company Amgen, the race’s title sponsor since its inception. The day will conclude with a thrilling, first-time mountaintop finish at Gibraltar Road that has been 11 years in the making (road conditions precluded the oft-requested finish until this year).
Stage 4 – Morro Bay to Monterey County, May 18, 2016
Racing on Highway 1 south to north, this stage will highlight two first-time hosts this year, Morro Bay and Monterey County. The riveting and technical race day conclusion will be at a venue known for speed – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, host to auto and motorcycle racing at the highest level.
Stage 5 – Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, May 19, 2016
From here out, the four-day women’s race will run in conjunction with the men’s, including the same start and finish cities except for this day, when the women begin and end in South Lake Tahoe. Lodi welcomed the 2015 Amgen Tour of California and is back for a second round with a men’s stage start this year. South Lake Tahoe hosted a successful two days of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race last year, and this will be the first of the four-day women’s race. Featuring a long day of climbing, the stage will reach the highest elevation ever mounted by the race: 8,600 feet.
Stage 6 – Folsom Individual Time Trial & Women’s Team Time Trial, May 20, 2016
The men’s individual time trial returns to Folsom where Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins dominated en route to his 2014 overall Amgen Tour of California victory. The women will compete in a team time trial on the same course.
Stage 7 – Santa Rosa, May 21, 2016
In 2006, the world took notice as record crowds flooded downtown to watch the race roar into Santa Rosa for a spectacular finish. This year’s stage will incorporate a portion of the uber popular Levi’s GranFondo, with the men and women competing on different courses.
Stage 8 – Sacramento, May 22, 2016
As an 8-time host, Sacramento has seen some of the most exciting stages and race moments, and will up the ante for 2016 with the grand finale of both the men’s and women’s races for the first time.
Amgen has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year as a platform for Breakaway from Cancer®, its national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship. To learn more, visit breakawayfromcancer.com.
“Amgen’s mission is to serve patients by developing and delivering innovative therapies for serious illness. Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California provides the unique opportunity to highlight how biotechnology has helped advance medicine for patients,” said Ray Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. “The race also helps us connect cancer survivors to important resources through Breakaway from Cancer®, as well as engage local communities in activities that support healthy lifestyles and highlight the importance of cardiovascular disease management. We look forward to honoring cancer survivors and promoting a healthy lifestyle in all of the host communities, including Thousand Oaks, our hometown of more than 35 years.”