2012 Amgen Tour of California Route

Posted on 08. Feb, 2012 by in news, race

2012 Amgen Tour of California route

2012 Amgen Tour of California route

The 2012 Amgen Tour of California route includes a return to Mt Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Bakersfield and LA Live and for the first time one of the favorite NorCal climbs, Mt Diablo, is in. Out are Solvang and Thousand Oaks are out. The seventh-annual event will travel more than 750 miles over eight days from May 13 – 20, 2012.

Beginning in three-time race champion Levi Leipheimer’s hometown of Santa Rosa, the 2012 race will wind its way south through redwood-lined country roads and spectacular coastline drives before ending in the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Also, for the first time in race history, Stage 8, the final stage of the race, will begin on one of the most famous streets in one of the most recognized cities in the world, Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills.

NBC Sports will broadcast a daily recap of the race: May 13 at 11 pm ET; May 14-18 at 5pm ET; May 19 at 7pm ET and May 20 at 6:30pm ET.

The stages.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Map

Stage 1: Santa Rosa Overall Start

Sunday, May 13
Distance: 115.9 miles (186.5 km)
Start/Finish Location: 3rd St. and Santa Rosa Ave.
Sprints (2): Santa Rosa, CA 1
KOMs (5): Cazadero, Fort Ross Road (2), Coleman Valley
Download map, profile (pdf)

The stage will start with two neutral laps around the city before heading out to the open roads of beautiful Sonoma County. Within 30 minutes, the race will reach the Town of Windsor and the first of several of the stage’s featured Sprints. Then, the riders head south, passing multiple vineyards to head to Graton where they head east to go back to Santa Rosa for another Sprint.

Then head west towards the town of Cazadero which links up to the Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge GranFondo route which takes the riders to the top of Meyers Grade Road with its amazing views of a spectacular coast line. A fast, technical downhill to Highway 1 followed by a rollercoaster 12-mile ride south to the quintessential northern California climb of Coleman Valley Road, which is long, twisty and steep. The technical descent back into Occidental will test the skills of every member of the peloton as they compete over the last 16 miles on redwood lined country roads to the finish in Santa Rosa. For the first time, the riders will race right to the finish line in Santa Rosa without any finishing circuits.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 Map

Stage 2: San Francisco to Santa Cruz County

Monday, May 14
Distance: 117.1 miles (188.5 km)
Start Location: Marina Green at Marina Boulevard in San Francisco
Finish Location: Cabrillo College on Cabrillo College Drive in Aptos
Sprints (3): Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Summit Road
KOMs (2): Empire Grade, Bear Creek Road
Download map, profile (pdf)

Starting at the Marina Green in San Francisco, with beautiful views of Golden Gate Bridge an Alcatraz on a clear day, stage 2 takes the riders down through the Presidio and then continues south on Highway 1 through Pacifica and Daly City. Route continues south, down the Devil’s Slide with amazing views followed by a turn inward to climb tough Bonny Doon. The route continues for 42 more miles which include one more KOM. The last several miles of the stage are downhill, followed by a short run down Soquel Avenue to the finish. Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California will certainly be a long and difficult stage, but it won’t be a surprise to see a large pack of riders contest the finish in an exciting Sprint.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Map

Stage 3: San Jose to Livermore

Tuesday, May 15
Distance: 115.3 miles (185.5 km)
Start Location: Berryessa Community Center on Berryessa Road in San Jose
Finish Location: Livermore (M Street and 1st Street)
Sprints (1): Livermore
KOMs (3): Calaveras Road, Mt Diablo, Patterson Pass
Download map, profile (pdf)

The typical San Jose downtown start has been moved to north San Jose, just a few miles from the infamous Sierra Road climb. While the riders won’t be expected to tackle a Category 1 climb just two miles from the start as they have been in the past, the route into Livermore is one that the race has taken before: Calaveras Road and Highway 84.

The first Sprint comes 28 miles into the stage. Heading out north on Livermore Avenue, the riders will likely face a stiff headwind coming down the valley. After passing through the town of Danville, the riders will climb Mt. Diablo – finally. One of the most revered climbs in California, race organizers, cyclists and fans alike are excited to have this climb as part of Stage 3 of the 2012 race.

After a fast and technical descent into Walnut Creek, the race will then head east into the Town of Clayton where the second Sprint of the stage will take place. From Clayton, the race will connect back to a familiar route into Livermore. Just nine miles from the finish, the riders will likely tackle blustery winds as they battle the final KOM of the stage up Patterson Pass Road followed by a quick descent that will take the race onto Cross and Tesla roads. On Livermore Avenue once again, it will be just a few miles to what is sure to be a sprint finish in historic downtown Livermore.

In clouds of yellow chalk dust, Mark Cavendish drives to the Clovis finish line with 100 meters to go at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California

In clouds of yellow chalk dust, Mark Cavendish drives to the Clovis finish line with 100 meters to go at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Map

Stage 4: Sonora to Clovis

Wednesday, May 16
Distance: 130.2 miles (209.6 km)
Start Location: Sonora (Yaney and Washington)
Finish Location: Clovis (Bullard and Pollasky Aves.)
Sprints (2): Mariposa, Oakhurst
KOMs (6): CA 49 Mocassin, CA 49 Bagby, CA 49 Bootjack, CA 49 (2), Crane Valley Rd.
Download map, profile (pdf)

At 130 miles, Stage 4 is the longest stage of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, and possibly the most difficult. This will be the race’s first visit to Sonora, a town that many consider to be the most preserved Gold Rush town in California.

As the riders head south towards Mariposa and Oakhurst (both Sprint cities), they will enjoy the incredible beauty and challenge of historic Highway 49. As they skirt Yosemite, they will encounter everything from numerous KOMs, twisty and technical descents, and raging rivers, but very few sections of flat roadway. Once through Mariposa, Highway 49 widens a bit, but two more KOMs will await the cyclists as they head to the final Sprint in Oakhurst. The riders will no doubt be fearless as they attack the final 40 miles into the return to Clovis, perhaps recalling the snow and ice along this same route in 2009.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 5 Map

Stage 5: Bakersfield Individual Time Trial

Thursday, May 17
Distance: 18.4 miles (29.7 km)
Start/Finish Location: Bakersfield (Bakersfield College – Panorama Drive)
Download map, profile (pdf)

The finishing circuit at the end of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 5 in Bakersfield was a gut-wrenching fan favorite, so it was only natural to return to the scene and turn that circuit into an 18.4 mile Individual Time Trial course.

Right from the start, the riders will go from zero to nearly 60 mph in a matter of seconds. The start ramp will launch them onto an immediate descent to Alfred Harrel Highway. From there, it will be a straight – but not exactly flat – route to the turnaround point at Lake Ming. In May, it’s likely going to be hot and windy, and there will not be much in the way of flat roadway to catch your breath. The route is full of 100-foot rollers, and as the riders approach the finish, they’ll be able to see it… up on a 300-foot bluff.

The prepared rider will have saved a little for the China Grade, which presents an eight percent climb to the top and then a hard left, and it won’t be over there. The riders will still face a slightly uphill, .44-mile run to the finish.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 6 Map

Stage 6: Palmdale to Big Bear Lake

Friday, May 18
Distance: 115.7 miles (186.3 km)
Start Location: Marie Kerr Park, 2723 Rancho Vista Boulevard, Palmdale.
Finish Location: Snow Summit Ski Area on Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake
Sprints (2): Crestline, Fawnskin
KOMs (4): Mt. Emma, Angeles Crest, CA 138, CA 18
Download map, profile (pdf)

If the 2010 route was a killer, this slightly toned down route will be a crusher. Stage 6 will be all about strategy as the riders will still be feeling the sting of the Bakersfield Time Trial from the day before. Will riders leave it all on the mountain climbs on Friday in hopes they can survive the brutal ascent to Mt. Baldy on Saturday? Or will they match the move of their nearest rivals and let Mt. Baldy decide the ultimate winner of the Amgen Leader Jersey? Or will there be a standout star that is capable of attacking both the Big Bear Climb and Mt. Baldy?

After a cruise down historic Sierra Highway, the racers will head into the Angeles National Forest. After a short stretch on Angeles Forest Highway, the route will turn onto Mt. Emma Road. Following the first climb of the day and then a descent to Fort Tejon Road, the first KOM at Mountain High ski area will be reached via a 12-mile climb to a 7,000-foot summit at Angeles Crest Highway. There will be a brief respite as the riders descend into Wrightwood and then over to Highway 138. The route will once again go vertical as it passes through Crestline and Lake Arrowhead, and then onto the Rim of the World Highway. Entering the Big Bear area, the riders will take the northern route around Big Bear Lake and then tackle the last ascent to the finish at a more than 7,000-foot elevation at the Snow Summit ski area.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 Map

Stage 7: Ontario to Mt. Baldy

Saturday, May 19
Distance: 78.3 miles (126 km)
Start Location: Ontario Convention Center
Finish Location: Mt. Baldy Ski Resort
Sprints (1): Glendora
KOMs (3): Glendora Ridge Rd., Glendora Mt. Rd., Mt. Baldy
Download map, profile (pdf)

If the Stage 6 climb to Big Bear Lake created some separation between the contenders and the chasers, Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California will be the ultimate test of the rider’s resolve to capture the Amgen Leader Jersey. Did they leave it all on the roads to the Big Bear Climb, or did they hold back enough to survive one of the most difficult stages in the history of bicycle racing in the United States?

It’s been called the “Queen’s Stage” and compared to the epic stages of the European Grand Tours – a return to the mountain top finish that thrilled so many during Stage 7 of the 2011 race. This is the training ground for many of the local racers in southern California, but only a handful have done the entire route, and none have done it after six days of racing more than 750 miles. It is very possible that the winner of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will be decided on the final 15 switchbacks to the finish on Mt. Baldy.

The race will begin in the thriving city of Ontario. Situated just 35 miles east of Los Angeles, Ontario is the center of commerce in southern California. Just a few miles from the start, the riders will start a 13-mile climb to the Village of Baldy. After an acute left, the racers will face another mile of climbing up Glendora Ridge Road to their first of three monster KOMs. From there, they will have 12 miles of narrow and twisting roads that gradually descend 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 City of Glendora for the only Sprint of the day. At this point, the remaining number of flat miles for Stage 7 will have dwindled to less than two, and there are still nearly 30 miles to the finish.

A left turn onto Glendora Mountain Road and it will be game on. The next KOM will be a nine-mile climb, followed by 12 miles of a slight climb back to Baldy Village. A left turn back onto Baldy Road will see the race gain 1,000 feet in just three miles…and the real climbing has not even started! At Ice House Canyon, the route will make a hard left turn where the sign to the ski area points towards the sky. Over the next 2.5 miles, the riders will face 10 switchbacks on a road that is so steep that many of the race vehicles cannot make it to the top. With 1.2 miles to go, the road will straighten out and the finish will be seen ahead. 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. This will be the stage where legends are made and winners are decided.

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 8 Map

Stage 8: Los Angeles

Sunday, May 20
Distance: 44.7 miles (72 km)
Start Location: Beverly Hills – (Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way)
Finish Location: Los Angeles – L.A. LIVE (Figueroa Street and Chick Hearn Court)
Sprints (1): LA Live
Download map, profile (pdf)

Stage 8 of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will start in what is quite possibly the most quintessential L.A. city – Beverly Hills. A first in the history of the race, the start line will be just across Rodeo Drive. A quick turn after the start will take the riders onto Santa Monica Boulevard and then north on Doheny Drive into the city of West Hollywood. Following the route of the famous LA Marathon, the race will reach Sunset Boulevard and then make a right turn, heading towards

Hollywood. Heads in the peloton are sure to turn as the riders pass the likes of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Kodak Theater, Mann’s Chinese Theater, the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, and the Pantages Theater. The route will then turn southeast and travel past Dodger Stadium.

At Grand and Caesar Chavez avenues, the riders will enter the five-mile long circuit that will take riders through Chinatown, past Los Angeles City Hall, the historic Biltmore Hotel, Disney Hall and the LA Music Center as they race past STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE to the finish line.

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