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2nd Amgen Tour of California 2007 - Stage Profiles
 
By Staff
Date: 2/15/2007
2nd Amgen Tour of California 2007 - Stage Profiles
 

Prologue - 1.9miles/3.06km

Sunday, February 18 San Francisco

First starter at 1:00 pm with 1-minute gaps between starts. Last 10 starters at 2-minute intervals

At 1 p.m., riders will kick off the 2007 Amgen Tour of California with a short, but intense Prologue through the streets of San Francisco. Starting by the Ferry Building at Pier 1, the cyclists will ride 1.9-mile individual time trial along the Embarcardero, making the sharp left onto Bay Street and then up the steep climb Telegraph Hill to the finish at Coit Tower. In 2006, the winner of the Prologue was Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) followed by Bobby Julich (CSC) and George Hincapie (Discovery Channel). In 2007, the gold and silver World Champion Time Trial medal winners Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and David Zabriskie (CSC), respectively are sure to be favored to place high in the overall for the stage.

Host City - San Francisco:

Visitors from all around the world flock to San Francisco to enjoy the city's exciting cultural life and breathtaking natural beauty. San Francisco's unique neighborhoods are the heart and soul of our city. Visitors have the opportunity to have an authentic Italian dinner or a latte at one of the bustling restaurants and cafes in North Beach, sample dim sum in Chinatown, shop at the unique stores along Union Street and enjoy the beautiful murals in the Mission. And of course San Francisco is famous for its breathtaking vistas, from the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to Coit Tower, to Golden Gate Park and the internationally acclaimed new De Young Museum.


Stage One - 93.8 miles/156.4km

Monday, February 19 Sausalito to Santa Rosa

Start 11:00am -- Finish 2:44-3:22pm

Starting on the northern side of the San Francisco Bay, Stage 1 will cover almost 100 miles from Sausalito to Santa Rosa. The stage begins with a climb from Mill Valley up to Mt. Tamalpais State Park (KOM Cat. 4 at 1512') before turning toward Muir Beach. The sprint points of the stage begin at Point Reyes Station (27.9miles/44km) followed by Tomales (45miles/72.4km) and Bogeda Bay (59.7miles/96.1km) . The route mirrors that of 2006 all the way to Valley Ford, but where the riders headed east to Santa Rosa, the 2007 route will continue north to Bodega Bay and turn onto Coleman Valley Road, a landmark climb in Northern California. The riders face the second and final KOM of the day on Coleman Valley Road (KOM Cat. 3 at 827') nearly 20 miles before entering Santa Rosa. Then, spectators can watch the stage win unfold as the field heads downhill from Occidental for three finishing circuit laps in downtown Santa Rosa. In 2006, sprinter, Juan Jose Haedo (CSC) was the winner of the stage. This year a breakaway is sure to form, but given the finishing circuit, the sprinters teams are sure to close it down.



Departure:

Sausalito is a picturesque waterfront community just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. With its Mediterranean flair and breathtaking views, it is often compared to the French Riviera. An historic town that dates back over 100 years from before the California Gold rush, Sausalito blends the best of old world character and new world amenities. With Bayside marinas, open air cafes and first-class restaurants, boutique hotels, unique shops and art galleries, as well as it’s thriving houseboat community and artists studios, Sausalito offers visitors and residents alike a special charm and hospitality. It is also a world-class venue for biking, hiking and boating and hosted the first stage and international race start of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California in 2006. With easy access to the redwood forests in Muir Woods, Mt. Tamalpais, the scenic north coast and wine country, Sausalito is the gateway to some of the most beautiful and sought after destinations in the world. It’s a destination; it’s a lifestyle, and it’s just minutes from San Francisco, easily accessible by car, bus, bike or by ferryboat.

Arrival:

Santa Rosa is the Main Street of wine country and home to an avid cycling community epitomized in its hometown here Levi Leipheimer. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz and famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank also claim Santa Rosa as their hometown and thousands of visitors come each year to see the museums created in their honor. Santa Rosa is located just 55 miles north of San Francisco and is surrounded by nearly 200 wineries, and within 30 minutes of the famed redwood groves, the Russian River, and the spectacular Pacific coastline.


Stage Two - 111miles/186km

Tuesday, February 20 Santa Rosa to Sacramento

Start 10:00am -- Finish 2:13-2:54pm

A scenic start through several Sonoma County wineries will quickly turn into one of the most significant climbs of the race as the peloton heads east en route to Sacramento. Twelve miles from the start, Trinity Road's vertical climbs and treacherous decent into the wineries of Napa Valley will make it one of the most difficult climbs of the entire race. Continuing east past Lake Berryessa, the peloton will head through Davis, recently named the best cycling town in the U.S. by Bicycle Magazine. With a quick turn to the north, the route will follow the Sacramento River to the well-known Tower Bridge and on to the Capitol Mall. The stage concludes with three circuits through downtown, finishing on the front step of California's Capitol Building. This stage is a trip down memory lane for many who reminisce about the Coors Classic (1979-1988). George Hincapie was victorious in 2006; this year's addition also maybe one for the sprinters.

Departure:

Santa Rosa is the Main Street of wine country and home to an avid cycling community epitomized in its hometown here Levi Leipheimer. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz and famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank also claim Santa Rosa as their hometown and thousands of visitors come each year to see the museums created in their honor. Santa Rosa is located just 55 miles north of San Francisco and is surrounded by nearly 200 wineries, and within 30 minutes of the famed redwood groves, the Russian River, and the spectacular Pacific coastline.

Arrival:

Since its founding in 1849, Sacramento has grown into a cosmopolitan state capital while retaining its Gold Rush flavor. The Capitol, California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento, Crocker Art Museum and Sutter's Fort are popular tourist attractions. The American River bike trail, stretching 32 miles from downtown Sacramento to Folsom Dam, is one of the finest urban bike paths in the country. Sacramentans are passionate in their support of the Kings, a National Basketball Association franchise, and the city played host to the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials. In a tribute to its cultural vibrance, Time magazine recently named Sacramento the nation's most diverse city.


Stage Three - 91.3miles/152.2km

Wednesday, February 21, Stockton to San José

Start 11:00am -- Finish 2:35-3:11pm

After a neutral start with parade laps through Stockton's revitalized downtown area, the peloton will head west through California's farm lands. After passing through Tracy, the riders will encounter a climb new to this year's race, Patterson Pass (KOM Cat 4 1589'). After passing through the city of Livermore, The route then connects to the familiar roads of the 2006 Stage 2 route on Calaveras Road. This long, constant grade leads to the most difficult climb of the race, the Category One (highest ranked in order of difficulty) Sierra Road climb in San Jose. After completing the final KOM of the day, the peloton will finish the 94.6-mile course in front of San José City Hall. Look for the climbers of the peloton to come out and play on this stage

Departure:

The City of Stockton is one of California's fastest growing communities. Stockton is currently the 13th largest city in California with a dynamic, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population of over 260,000. It is situated along the San Joaquin Delta waterway which connects to the San Francisco Bay 60 miles to the west. The City is undergoing a tremendous economic expansion and is aggressively revitalizing its downtown. Projects along the waterfront include an indoor arena, baseball stadium, hotel, apartments, retail, and housing. Stockton is home to four professional sports teams - California Cougars MISL Soccer, Stockton Thunder ECHL Hockey, Stockton Lightning Arena Football, and the Stockton Ports Baseball Team. Stockton was designated an All-America City in 1999 and 2004 by the National Civic League and recognized by Sunset Magazine as the "Best Tree City".

Arrival:


From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live.



Stage Four - 91.3miles/152.2km

Thursday, February 22 Seaside to San Luis Obispo

Start 10:00am -- Finish 3:22-4:21pm

The remarkable views of stage four will make it a favorite for riders and spectators alike. Beginning in Seaside with a short neutral lap and traveling along a similar route to last year's Stage 4, the peloton will head south on scenic Highway 1 where the mountains and redwood forests flank the Pacific Ocean. At more than 130 miles and with three KOMs, this is the longest stage of the race and will test the riders on consistently hilly and technical terrain. The six-hour day will take the riders through Big Sur and by Hearst Castle before shifting inland toward the finish at the intersection of Osos and Monterey in San Luis Obispo. In 2006, the stage came down to a bunch sprint in which CSC's Juan Jose Haedo scored his second stage win. All indications point to another bunch sprint finish in this year's edition; however, if a cooperative breakaway were to form, it may not be reeled in before the finish.

Departure:

The City of Seaside is a wonderfully diverse and active community of 35,000 on the beautiful Monterey Bay on the Central Coast of California, approximately 115 miles south of San Francisco. With a mild climate year-round, Seaside is the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can experience outstanding recreation, as well as international dining and spectacular views of the Monterey Bay in a family–friendly environment. As home to California State University, Monterey Bay, and the Monterey College of Law, the City of Seaside is also an important part of the Monterey Peninsula's world–class educational community. Its ideal location on the Monterey Bay allows Seaside visitors easy access to all that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer, including exceptional beaches, thrilling sporting events, quaint shops, world-renowned restaurants, and an abundance of recreational opportunities.

Arrival:

On California's fabled Highway 1, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, lies a town whose name spells tranquility. Steep, velvety-green hills shelter the coastal city, which year-round basks in a perfect Mediterranean marine climate of balmy days and cool nights. The streets of downtown are lined with shops and restaurants tucked into turn-of-the-20th-century mercantile buildings, and its neighborhoods are chock-a-block with classic California bungalows. A gleaming white Spanish mission rises in the center of it all, above a sparkling creek. South of town, gently rolling vineyards give way to the beach and the sea.


Stage Five - 23.4km Time Trial

Friday, February 23 Solvang

First starter is at 11:00 am with 1-minute gaps between starts. Last 10 starters at 2-minute intervals

Solvang hosts some of the ProTour teams for training camps as well as some of the largest cycling events in the U.S. At only 14.5-miles, and with the start and finish located only two blocks apart, Stage 5 is an ideal location for spectators to view the race. The route will highlight some of the most beautiful areas and towns of Central California, winding through quaint towns, vineyards, farms, and one short but steep climb. This year's shorter, flatter and faster time trial will create a challenging test for the riders. The time trial specialists will be sure to try themselves after a long winter of training on this stage.

Host City: Solvang

Set in scenic Santa Barbara County, Solvang attracts over a million visitors annually with its thriving Danish community, distinctive architecture, unique shopping, award-winning bakeries and regional wines. With the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop and near perfect climate, this Danish enclave has retained its Old World charm for almost 100 years. Solvang and the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley are proud hosts of several Pro Tour cycling team training camps as well as some of the largest amateur cycling events in the USA such as the Solvang Century (5,000+ riders in March) and the Solvang Prelude (3,000+ in November).


Stage 6 - 101.7miles/169.6km

Saturday, February 24 Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita

Start 11:00am -- Finish 2:52 - 3:32pm

This could be the pivotal stage for the 2007 Amgen Tour of California. This is one of the longest stages at 105 miles, and it is heavy on climbs with four KOMs, two Sprints and a demanding finishing circuit in Santa Clarita. With the individual time trial late in the tour, there could be several riders separated by just a few seconds. After a start in view of the Santa Barbara shoreline, this will be the last chance for a solid favorite to emerge before the circuit race finale in Long Beach. Once the peloton hits Highway 150, the racers will face two KOMs before passing Lake Casitas and riding into the town of Ojai for the first Sprint of the day. The third KOM is just a few miles outside Ojai, and then the course will head downhill into Santa Paula for the second Sprint of the day among fragrant citrus groves. The ominous Balcom Canyon will be the final climb of the day, where in 2006, nearly 10,000 fans formed a narrow corridor for the riders. The cyclists will end the day with three circuits in Santa Clarita that finish at McBean Parkway at the Valencia Town Center. In 2006, a successful breakaway stayed ahead of the peloton. In this year's edition, a similar scenario is likely to happen.

Departure:

Situated along a unique stretch of east-west California coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara County basks in sunshine, natural bounty, creativity, cultural sophistication, and an appreciation for taking life at your own pace. The dramatic combination of ocean, mountains, valleys, islands, beaches, and gardens offers more than just beauty and relaxation. First-rate golf, polo, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, and a vast array of water sports are just some of the activities that draw lovers of the outdoors to Santa Barbara.

Arrival:

A historic community turned cosmopolitan city, Santa Clarita blends its small-town roots with the sophisticated amenities and spirit of a larger urban center. The City of Santa Clarita, with a population of 180,000, is located within a picturesque valley, surrounded by mountains and bisected by natural rivers. Located adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain & Hurricane Harbor on the west, and the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park on the north, Santa Clarita is comprised of four diverse communities: Newhall, Valencia, Saugus and Canyon Country, and is just 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Named as one of the nation's safest cities and one of California's best places to do business, Santa Clarita, the third largest City in Los Angeles County, is one of California's most exciting destinations!


Stage Seven - Circuit Race

Sunday, February 25 Long Beach

Start 1:00pm -- Finish 3:46- 4:13pm

Stage 7 is flat, fast, and will be a favorite with spectators, featuring a lot of sprint action as the cyclists race in 10 laps around a circuit course in downtown Long Beach. This course is part of the famous Long Beach Grand Prix course used for the CART race cars, meaning a legacy of roads that are wide and fast. Views of San Pedro Bay and the Pacific Ocean will be visible for the entire course, with a backdrop of the famed Queen Mary in the bay. Organizers expect a hard sprint to the finish; as with all the Grand Tours of Europe, winning the final stage of the 2007 Amgen Tour of California is a prize coveted by the riders.

Host City: Long Beach

Long Beach is the 5th largest city in California, home to the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific, centrally located close to all major Southern California attractions. Long Beach is a premier tourism destination with a downtown waterfront entertainment district that sets the standard for "walk-ability." With hotels, shopping, attractions, entertainment and restaurants all located on a picturesque harbor on the beautiful Pacific Ocean, Long Beach is the best of Southern California—the perfect urban waterfront playground.

Profiles compiled by Alicia Hopkins

 
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