December 07, 2006
Tour of California '07 route unveiled
San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara are again host cities for starts or finishes, and Sacramento, Stockton, Seaside, Solvang, Santa Clarita, and Long Beach (that's right, only one host city that doesn't begin with “s”) host for the first time during the 2nd annual run of the first big stage race of the season in the United States.
Sixteen teams will take the start, including a number of ProTour teams. Already committed are Discovery Channel, Team CSC, and Predictor-Lotto (formerly Davitamon-Lotto). Participating riders won't be announced until race time approaches, but one rider who looks unlikely to participate is 2006 Tour of California champion Floyd Landis, who is defending himself against doping charges as a result of a doping test after Stage 17 of the Tour de France.
Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) will televise 14 hours of race coverage.
Race director Jim Birrell:
“Last year, the design of the courses were challenging enough to complement where riders were in their training schedules. What we learned is that we put the time trial too early into the Tour. We found out that our overall winner was determined in mid-week. One of things you see in 2007 is that not only have we moved the time trial from Wednesday to Friday, but we've shortened it. One of our overall goals is to see that the overall leader's jersey changes daily so that the storyline is always compelling.”
- Prologue: San Francisco - essentially a repeat of last year's 1.9-mile prologue along the Embarcadero, then up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower.
- Stage 1: Sausalito to Santa Rosa - Almost 100 miles, encompassing Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and the climb of Coleman Valley Road, then finishing with three laps of Santa Rosa.
- Stage 2: Santa Rosa to Sacramento - Santa Rosa is the only city to host a finish and a start. Passes through Davis before 3 laps in Sacramento, finishing at the State Capitol.
- Stage 3: Stockton to San Jose - Farm day, passing through Livermore, and including the toughest single climb, up Sierra Road in San Jose. It's 94.6 miles in all.
- Stage 4: Seaside to San Luis Obispo - Featuring oceanside Highway 1, the longest stage of the race goes more then 130 miles with three King of the Mountain primes. Passing Hearst Castle, finishing at Osos and Monterey in San Luis Obispo.
- Stage 5 ITT: Solvang - Solvang hosts one of the biggest centuries in the U.S. The riders only have to cover 14.5 miles, with the start and finish two blocks apart. Last year's ITT was hillier, longer, and earlier, running on Stage 3.
- Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita - 105 miles, 4 KOM climbs, 2 sprint lines. Start near the beach in Santa Barbara, through Ojai, Santa Paula, the Balcom Canyon that was a fan favorite last year, and 3 circuits in Santa Clarita.
- Stage 7: Long Beach Circuit Race - Covering part of the course of the Long Beach Grand Prix, 10 laps of 7.8 miles for a 78-mile day.
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