Cycling fans can begin plotting their roadside viewing points along the 2018 Amgen Tour of California route.
America's premier cycling stage race will cover 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento May 13-19. Known for epic sprinter showdowns, three of the sport's greatest are confirmed to race this year: Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Team KATUSHA ALPECIN) and "King of California" Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), cycling's first three-time consecutive World Champion, who also holds the California race record for most stage wins (16).
Long Beach hosted the overall race finish in 2007 and will stage an epic return with the overall start of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California. The city joins an elite group that includes Santa Rosa, Sacramento and San Diego in having hosted both a race overall start and overall finish.
The 7-mile circuit will start and finish on Shoreline Drive near Shoreline Village and the Long Beach Convention Center. The 11 laps of the circuit will utilize portions of Shoreline Drive, Ocean Blvd. and Pine Avenue. Several Long Beach neighborhoods will get a ring-side seat as the peloton races through Bixby Park and Bluff Park, as well as Retro Row and Downtown.
The following day, after a neutral parade route through downtown Ventura, the race will head through Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ojai. The riders will climb out of Santa Paula to the first of three King of the Mountain climbs (KOMs) on the day. The 96.3-mile stage has 7,700' of elevation gain, with the journey to the top of Gibraltar road featuring a 3,100' climb over the final eight miles of the stage.
As with any of the race stages, routes are subject to change due road damage. With the recent fires and flooding in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, there will likely be changes to a section of the Stage 2 route that passes through Camarillo and Montecito as several bridges are being assessed for repair or replacement.