(LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev.) – The Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM stages at Lake Tahoe will highlight the myriad of reasons the destination has been chosen repeatedly as a featured venue. The first two days of the women’s competition, which runs May 11-14, will include iconic vistas along the 72-mile circumference of the lake; the highest summit in race history at Luther Pass; and the debut of Daggett Pass along Kingsbury Grade state Route 207.
The race is sanctioned by Union Cycliste International, denoting the highest level for a non-World Cup event. Race presenter AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, announced today the routes that will challenge the world’s top female cyclists in Lake Tahoe. The Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will include the overall start (May 11) and Stage 2 (May 12) on consecutive days. The competition will continue with Stage 3 in Elk Grove (May 13) and the finale in Sacramento (May 14) as the seven-day men’s Amgen Tour of California begins.
Stage 1 presented by Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM is one of the most beautiful race routes in the USA, circumnavigating the 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe clockwise starting at Heavenly Mountain Resort, passing through South Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay and Tahoe City. As the athletes reach the north shore of Lake Tahoe, they will enter Nevada and ride through Incline Village with panoramic views of the east shore and Sand Harbor State Park. The stage will feature two sprints, 5,300’ of elevation gain and two Queen of the Mountain (QOM) challenges where riders vie for a separate jersey by completing the climbs in the lowest cumulative time. The final stretch will be a brutal ascent back to the finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Spectators can expect a select group of competitors fighting their way to the finish with riders coming in over the next 5-10 minutes trying to build a gap before going into Stage 2.
A new racecourse awaits for Stage 2 presented by Visit California as the athletes tackle 67.1 miles and conquer the highest peak in event history. They start at Heavenly Mountain Resort, head west through Meyers (entry town as visitors arrive from Northern California before reaching South Lake Tahoe), and then south on state Route 89 racing over Luther Pass, the tallest peak at 7,740’ summit. Luther is the first of three QOMs for the stage followed by a quick descent while exceeding 50 mph through the spectacular Hope Valley along the Carson River Basin. The course will then take the riders around Washoe Reservation before heading northeast into Nevada along Hwy 88 before bending west onto state Route 206 Foothill Road with gorgeous views of the Kit Carson Range on the west side. A left turn will take them north on Kingsbury Grade state Route 207, an 8-mile climb that gains 2,700’ in elevation, never attempted in any previous Amgen Tour of California stage. The second QOM peaks at 7,400’. The high speed descent back to South Lake Tahoe will provide beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The third and final QOM for Stage 2 is at the Heavenly Mountain Resort finish line. Fans can expect a group of 5-10 women fighting their way to the end with riders trailing in for the 15 minutes.
“We love that the tour continually works with us to provide new challenges for these elite women athletes to showcase Tahoe’s cycling appeal,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Tahoe South and our partners welcome back the cyclists and anticipate another exhilarating competition.”
“North Lake Tahoe is proud to partner with Tahoe South for the Amgen Tour of California,” said JT Thompson, marketing director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “We’re a destination comprised of premier human-powered sports, world-class hospitality and beautiful landscapes, and we look forward to showcasing our region to the incredible caliber of female cyclists that will compete in this race.”
Presented by Visit California, the route announcement includes a visual overview of the 2017 men’s and women’s courses at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/stages.
“The Amgen Tour of California is America’s Greatest Race, and this year more than ever, the world will be watching,” said Kristin Klein, race president and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “As the sport of cycling continues to bloom in America, the Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s events are both part of the UCI WorldTour for the first time, a privilege and designation reserved for the world’s premier races. This means the competition will reach an all-time high, with the best racers and best teams in the world lining up to take part.”
Millions of fans are expected to once again line the racecourse in May to cheer on the elite, international fields that will include Olympians, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. Fans will also have opportunities to meet and hear from cycling legends Jens Voigt and Freddie Rodriguez, who will reprise their roles as Race Ambassadors. Kristin Armstrong, the most decorated woman in U.S. cycling history, will join as a first-time Amgen Tour of California Race Ambassador, on the heels of her incredible performance to win her third Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games last summer.
“For more than a decade, the Amgen Tour of California has played a vital role to Golden State travel, both in driving visitation and in focusing the eyes of the international cycling community on diverse destinations beyond the gateways,” says Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “Since 2006, Visit California has been thrilled to partner with AEG on this one-of-a-kind event, which takes riders, spectators and viewers alike on a whirlwind tour that spans sun-soaked beaches, evergreen mountains, and everything in between, further showcasing the immense scope of all that California has to offer.”
For sponsorship or expo opportunities visit amgentourofcalifornia.com/sponsorship.