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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 6, 2018

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2019 Tour of California route announced

Here's the organizer's announcement:

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 5, 2018) – The Amgen Tour of California organizers today announced the 13 Host Cities selected for the 14th edition of America’s premier professional cycling stage race set for May 12-18, 2019. Throughout seven stages over seven days, the world’s elite cyclists will contest more than 750 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines from Sacramento to Pasadena.

The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world’s best women cyclists, will run concurrently May 16-18, covering upwards of 180 miles over three stages. Owned and presented by AEG, both races conclude with same-day finishes in Pasadena, a veteran overall finish city.

The annual Amgen Tour of California carries the distinction of being the only U.S. men’s and women’s races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and have helped launch some of today’s best known and most decorated international cyclists as well as continuing to attract the most talented competitors and teams in the world. With seven new courses between them, the event’s legacy as an international platform for both men’s and women’s racing will hold special significance this year as Olympic hopefuls gear up for Tokyo 2020.

2019 Tour of California map

2019 Tour of California map

2019 RACE SCHEDULE

DATE | MEN

Sun., May 12  -  Stage 1: Sacramento
Mon., May 13  -  Stage 2: Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe
Tues., May 14  -  Stage 3: Stockton to Morgan Hill
Wed., May 15  -  Stage 4: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay
Thurs., May 16  -  Stage: 5 Pismo Beach to Ventura
Fri., May 17  -  Stage 6: Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Sat., May 18  -  Stage 7: Santa Clarita to Pasadena

DATE | WOMEN

Thurs., May 16  -  Stage 1: Ventura
Fri., May 17  -  Stage 2: Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Sat., May 18  -  Stage 3: Santa Clarita to Pasadena

**Courses subject to change

This year’s course will highlight the distinct beauty of Northern, Central and Southern California. The 2019 Host Cities include the return of fan and race team favorites, long-time veterans like Sacramento, Santa Clarita and Pasadena, and a first-time start in Rancho Cordova.

The 2019 Amgen Tour of California will cover a variety of terrain, showcasing many of California’s most well-known and iconic settings and landmarks, and allowing different types of specialists in the peloton to shine throughout the week. Several fast and flat sections on tap in Sacramento, Morgan Hill and Pasadena will cater to sprinters (not to mention a start overlooking the famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca motor speedway). Climbers will also face challenges in South Lake Tahoe, the Diablo Mountain Range outside Stockton where they will reach an elevation of 4,625 feet, and on multiple climbs between Pismo Beach and Ventura. Fans and teams alike will count down to the men’s and women’s Queen Stages from Ontario to Mt. Baldy, which will feature a grueling 26-mile fan-favorite climb to the summit finish, a day that will shake up the leader board and can make or break the quest for the overall victory.

A traditional stage for the Amgen Tour of California, the final race day for both the men and women is one that highlights the beauty of long-time race partners: Santa Clarita and Pasadena. Past overall finishes in Pasadena have consistently been dramatic and exciting, with fans from across Southern California lining up to cheer on the fast-and-furious sprint finishes to determine the ultimate champions.

Lotto-Soudal unveils 2019 jersey

Here it is:

2019 Lotto-Soudal jersey

Nikolas Maes (his back to us) and Puck Moonen model the 2019 kit.

Amanda Spratt to defend Tour Down Under title

Here's the release from Spratt's Mitchelton-Scott team

After her most successful season in 2018, defending champion Amanda Spratt has confirmed her return to Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under next year with an early claim the course suits her and her Mitchelton-SCOTT squad.

Amanda Spratt

Amanda Spratt wins stage three of the 2018 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Despite arriving at the Australian season on her way to peak performance for the year’s three main goals – the Ardennes Classics, the Giro Rosa and World Championships – Spratt proved her love and motivation for the Australian race by winning the Queen stage three and holding on for a 41-second overall victory at the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under.

The 31-year-old’s success continued throughout the season with top-five finishes at all three Ardennes Classics, third overall behind teammate Annemiek van Vleuten at the Giro Rosa and a silver medal at the world championships in September.

Now widely considered as one of the world’s best climbers, Spratt is motivated for even more success in 2019.

Next year’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, to be held from Thursday, 10 January to Sunday, 14 January, features two up-hill finishes in the four stages, including Mengler’s Hill and Stirling before concluding with the traditional city-centre finish in line with the People’s Choice Classic.

Amanda Spratt:
"I can’t wait to be back in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under in 2019. I have such great memories from this race and I would love to create some more.”

“It’s a big target for me and the mixture of stages should suit me but also our whole team, so I’m excited to see what we can do together there. TDU time is such a special time to be a cyclist in Australia - the whole atmosphere around the race is incredible.”

"Returning to a race as defending champion is great, even more so when it’s in Australia in front of a home crowd. I haven’t returned to many races as a defending champion so it definitely makes this Tour Down Under even more special for me.”

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