The Tour of California will try its luck again with a stage finish scheduled for Lake Tahoe next year as the 11th edition of the race returns to a south-north route.
Mimicking the direction the race took in 2013, when Robert Gesink won ahead of Garmin’s Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson, the 2.HC race will start in San Diego on May 15 and finish eight days later in the capitol city of Sacramento. Santa Rosa also returns to the line up on the penultimate day.
Stage 5 on May 19 will take the peloton from Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, where the race endured its only cancelled stage in 2011 after wet snow blanketed the course the morning of stage 1. The next day’s stage also had to be shortened, and the start moved from Tahoe to Nevada City.
The women’s race, which started its first edition last year in Tahoe before finishing in Sacramento, will also start in South Lake Tahoe on May 19 and finish in Sacramento for 2016. The biggest change for the women’s race will be a team time trial that runs in conjunction with the men’s individual time trial, which returns to Folsom next year during stage 6.
Race owner Anschutz Entertainment Group announced the 2016 host cities Thursday morning during a ceremony in San Diego that was attended by former pro Fred Rodriguez, NBA hall-of-famer and cycling enthusiast Bill Walton, race executive director Kristen Bachochin and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The 2016 men’s race travels from stage 1 in San Diego to South Pasadena for the start of stage 2, which ends in Santa Clarita with a likely sprint finish. Stage 3 runs from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County and ends with a mountain-top finish that is new to the tour.
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