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Route Details Emerge For Amgen Bicycle Race

Santa Clarita will again serve as pivotal point in world renowned race

{sidebar is-5}Specific route details for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race were revealed today by AEG, presenter of the third-annual event. 

 

A Tour de France-style cycling road race, the 2008 Amgen Tour of California will challenge the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding 650-mile course from Palo Alto-Stanford University to Pasadena, February 17-24, 2008.

 

In between will be two stage sections in Santa Clarita, with stage six ending here, and the final stage beginning here.

 

The 2007 race drew more than 1.6 million spectators, surpassing the inaugural year’s turnout and setting records in attendance for a single sporting event in California, as well as for any cycling event ever held in the United States. 

 

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Last year’s Amgen Tour of California took over McBean Parkway

Scheduled over eight consecutive days from February 17-24, 2008, the race will visit 12 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, with communities along the route getting the chance to see, firsthand, a lineup of some of the best and most recognizable teams and cyclists in the world. 

 

Host cities for the Prologue and seven stages include: Palo Alto-Stanford University (new in 2008), Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Modesto (new in 2008), San Jose, Seaside, San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita and Pasadena (new in 2008).

 

"The challenging geographical features and picturesque landscape of California provide the perfect combination of elements for a world-class cycling event," said Kristin Bachochin, senior director of AEG Sports, presenter of the race.  "For the third year of the Amgen Tour of California, we remain committed to upgrading and enhancing every element of the race experience for the cyclists and spectators by creating an even more challenging and exciting race."

 

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Last year’s stage 6 winners

Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita

Stage 6 could be the pivotal stage for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California.  The stage is one of the longest at 105 miles, and it is heavy on climbs with four KOMs, three sprints and a demanding finishing circuit in Santa Clarita.  With the individual time trial late in the race again this year, there is the potential for several riders to be separated by just a few seconds as they begin the stage. 

 

After a start in view of the Santa Barbara shoreline, this stage, sponsored by Health Net, will take the peloton to Highway 192 and through the town of Carpinteria.  The route will then take the riders on Highway 150 where they will face two KOMs before passing Lake Casitas and riding into the scenic town of Ojai.  The third KOM will be just a few miles outside Ojai, and then the course will head downhill into Santa Paula. 

 

The ominous Balcom Canyon will be the final climb of the day, where in 2007 nearly 25,000 fans formed a narrow corridor for the riders.  The cyclists will end the day with three circuit laps in Santa Clarita that finish at McBean Parkway at the Valencia Town Center.

 

 

Stage 7: Santa Clarita to Pasadena

By configuring the final stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California as a difficult point-to-point road race, there is a chance to see an overall lead change, as well as a change in the KOM jersey leader on the last day.  The first 25 miles of Stage 7, sponsored by Amgen, include a gradual climb from Santa Clarita to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road. 

 

The route continues uphill to the highest elevation ever reached by the Amgen Tour of California on the towering Millcreek Summit (4,906 feet).  Descending with an eight-mile run to Angeles Crest Highway, the route begins a fast plunge to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. 

 

After more than 60 miles from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, with the mountains and the Rose Bowl serving as the backdrop, the peloton will complete the stage and the race, with six five-mile laps on a very demanding circuit around the Rose Bowl.  Organizers expect a hard sprint to the finish; as with all the Grand Tours of Europe, winning the final stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California is a prize coveted by the riders.

Route Details Emerge For Amgen Bicycle Race

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