2009 Tour of California route

Posted on 04. Dec, 2008 by in news, race

This morning the Amgen Tour of California announced the expanded 2009 route for the cover more than 750 miles over nine days.

As was earlier announced in the Press Democrat, the first stage is now a short, flat 2.4-mile (3.9 km) prologue in Sacramento.

The route provides new challenges as it  includes 8 new host cities, and for the first time will go into the Sierras for stage 4, from Merced to Clovis. However, no mountain top finish again this year.

Last year, the tough and wet Tour of California ended in Pasadena, but with an extra day, the race extends further South with a final stage from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido over 4-rated climbs including the 5,123 ft. Palomar Mountain.

The women’s race is down to one criterium. The second-annual Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium will begin at 1 p.m.in Santa Rosa and will showcase some of the world’s top professional women cyclists competing for $15,000 in prizes. Once again, the crit will use portions of the Stage 1 men’s finishing circuit in Santa Rosa. (and it still sucks)

Saturday Feb 14 – Prologue, Sacramento
Miles: 2.4, KM: 3.9

The flat and fast route will likely take each individual cyclist less than five minutes to finish.   With the start (Intersection of Capitol Mall and 9th St.) and finish (Intersection of L St. and 11th St.) lines separated by only two blocks, spectators will have the opportunity to easily see the racers at both the start and finish lines. (profile, map)

Sunday Feb 15 – Stage 1, Davis to Santa Rosa
Miles: 107.6, KM: 173.2
2 Sprints, 3 KOMs

A new stage.  Starts off in Davis with  20 miles of flat roads, the  first climb is  up a short, but steep section leading up to the Monticello Dam.  Another long, flat section along Lake Berryessam the  second climb is up Howell Mountain Rd., followed by a fast descent into Napa Valley.  After one final climb and a steep descent from Calistoga Road, the stage ends with finishing circuit laps in downtown Santa Rosa.  (profile, map)

Monday Feb 16 – Stage 2, Sausalito to Santa Cruz
Miles: 115.9, KM: 186.6
1 Sprint, 2 KOMs

We’ll see a lot of photos of the peloton on the Bridge following this stage. Stage 2 starts in  Sausalito on the water and heads south over  the Golden Gate Bridge and through the streets of San Francisco. The  riders then go west down the California coastline on Highway 1 and includes two long, but moderate climbs on Tunitas Creek Road and Bonny Doon Road  followed by lengthy and fast descents with a final dash to Santa Cruz. (profile, map)

Tuesday Feb 17 – Stage 3, San Jose to Modesto
Miles: 104.2, KM: 167.7
1 Sprint, 2 KOMs

Runs in reverse to last year’s stage, as it starts with the climb up Sierra Road (1,930 ft.) within the first five miles. Then it’s a tricky descent on fast and flat roads full of twists and turns (Calaveras Road alone has more than 40 switchbacks) before climbing Patterson Pass and final dash to the  two finishing circuits in downtown Modesto. (profile, map)

Wednesday Feb 18 – Stage 4, Merced to Clovis
Miles: 115.4, KM: 187.7
2 Sprints, 4 KOMs

The Tour of California hits the Sierras for the first time and delivers hilly and technical terrain. Starts in Merced, goes over 4 climbs and ends in Old Town Clovis.(profile, map)

Thursday Feb 19 – Stage 5, Visalia to Paso Robles
Miles: 134.3, KM: 216.1
2 Sprints

The longest stage starts in Visalia and goes over flat roads on the San Joaquin Valley floor where for the first 100 miles of the stage, the riders will have virtually no protection from the wind. The route winds its way back to the coast and the final 30-mile run into Paso Robles. (profile, map)

Friday Feb 20 – Stage 6, Solvang Time Trial
Miles: 15, KM: 24

Back to Solvang for the individual time trial. The route which starts and finishes in Solvang winds through Santa Ynez Valley and includes one short, but steep climb up Ballard Canyon. Again, the TT should prove decisive to the overall classification.(profile, map)

Saturday Feb 21 – Stage 7, Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Miles: 88.9, KM: 143
2 Sprints, 1 KOM

The first 25 miles include a gradual climb from Santa Clarita, through Acton, to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road. The route continues uphill to the second highest elevation ever reached by the Amgen Tour of California on the towering Millcreek Summit (4,906 ft.). Descending with a 15-mile run to Angeles Crest Highway, the route begins a fast plunge to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, to finish off with five 5-mile laps on a very demanding circuit through the area surrounding the Rose Bowl. (profile, map)

Sunday Feb 22 – Stage 8, Rancho Bernardo to Escondido
Miles: 96.8, KM: 155.8
2 Sprints, 4 KOMs

A whole new stage for the eighth and final stage to the Tour of California. Starting off in Rancho Bernardo, the course goes over four climbs, including the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California, Palomar Mountain and two sprints. At 11.7 miles, a seven percent average grade, 4,200 feet of climbing and 21 switchbacks, Palomar Mountain (5,123 ft.) comes after 40 miles into the stage, and the organizers expect a hard sprint to the finish in Escondido.(profile, map)


One Response to “2009 Tour of California route”

  1. MavicMoto

    05. Dec, 2008

    Stage Two has real GC implications, the climb so close to the finish. But otherwise, it looks well-structured to keep the outcome in doubt. The organizers seem to have a hard course for this early in the season, I guess the notion of keeping it easy for the Euro-centric schedule is out of fashion. Racers will have to ready for this one.
    Sprinters and climbers have a lot of opportunities in this edition. Last year BMC made the most of these; they won’t be sneaking up on anyone anymore.
    And here’s hoping that the TT does NOT determine the final GC this year.