Several changes to Tour of California announced for next race.
The city of Santa Clarita will, for the third year in a row, be a host city for the Amgen Tour of California, which is the biggest bicycle race in the United States.
In February 2009, Santa Clarita will serve as the start of stage 7 in the race.
In years past, the Tour of California ran through 7 stages, usually starting in northern California. Starting in 2009, the race will be expanded to include 9 stages, and along with some familiar stops, there are eight first-time host cities this year as the routes weave further east into the state.
Here are the stages:
- Stage 1: A loop of Sacramento (Saturday, Feb 14th)
- Stage 2: Davis to Santa Rosa (Feb 15th)
- Stage 3: Sausalito to Santa Cruz (Feb 16th)
- Stage 4: San Jose to Modesto (Feb 17th)
- Stage 5: Merced to Clovis (Feb 18th)
- Stage 6: Visalia to Paso Robles (Feb 19th)
- Stage 7: Individual time trial in Solvang (Feb 20th)
- Stage 8: Santa Clarita to Pasadena (Saturday, Feb 21st)
- Stage 9: Rancho Bernardo to Escondido (Feb 22nd)
Aside from showcasing our area, City Manager Ken Pulskamp told KHTS that the race is also important for local businesses.
“Last year we did an economic analysis that showed that the race generated $1.7 million in revenue for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Pulskamp. “So we’re very excited to have the race back here again, knowing that it has a big impact on restaurants, hotels and on retail in general.”
In 2007, Santa Clarita served as the race’s stage 6 finish, and in 2008 we pulled double duty as the stage 6 finish and the stage 7 starting point.
City officials said they plan to hold bike-friendly events surrounding the race again in 2009, and they advocated the use of the 20 miles of bike trails in the City.
To see pictures of last year’s Amgen Tour of California festivities in Santa Clarita, click here.