America's largest and most prestigious cycling event brings many of the world’s top riders to the Golden State. The 8-stage race changes it up every year, with new courses connecting cities and towns and looping through some of the state’s most spectacular settings. Coast-hugging highways, dramatic mountain passes, rolling country roads, wine-country valleys—they’re all here. Line the route with your cowbells clanging, then head to host cities to enjoy related festivals and events.
The first ever Amgen Tour of California women's UCI stage race will kick off in spectacular fashion at the Heavenly Mountain Resort high above South Lake Tahoe. Tahoe South has been designated as a Bike Friendly Community, so it’s a perfect fit.
Here you can play all day and party all night, all on the shore of the largest alpine lake in North America – Lake Tahoe. With its clear water surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada, jaw-dropping vistas, stately groves of pines, and gorgeous sunsets, Lake Tahoe is an alpine paradise. From skiing to boating, bike trails to blackjack and ice skating to bar hopping, whatever your passion, Tahoe South does it right.
Sacramento was recently named one of the 10 ‘Best U.S. Cycling Towns’ by USA Today, offering countless trails for beginners and professional cyclists alike – making it a perfect place to kick-off the 2015 Amgen Tour of California.
Centrally located in Northern California, and nestled in a fertile valley between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Sacramento was named "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital." Sacramento is the capital of the largest agriculture producing state in the country and local restaurants utilize the abundance of regionally grown products to offer diners some of the nation's freshest localized cuisine. Additionally, the region contains 7,000 to 8,000 acres of boutique farms and is home to more than 40 markets – including the largest California Certified Farmers' Market in the state – where shoppers can find local produce, meats, breads, cheeses and countless other products.
Sacramento is undergoing a distinct transformation, with new restaurants, bars, shops and hotels springing up around the region. The centerpiece of the city’s revitalization will be a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports complex currently under construction and set to open in 2016. The new arena will house the Sacramento Kings NBA team, as well as concerts and other entertainment.
Stage 2 of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California takes racers through Northern California, starting in one of the Gold Country’s prettiest towns: Nevada City, a forest-wrapped hamlet of handsome Victorian-era homes and tree-lined streets. California's best preserved Gold Rush town has a lot to offer far beyond this well-deserved distinction. Steeped in history, Nevada City became its own historical district in 1968, which has led to a designation on the National Register of Historic Places.
The City of Lodi is filled with cycling enthusiasts who host and support a number of yearly sports and cycling events – making it a great finish for Stage 2. Lodi is one of California's oldest and most historic winegrowing regions, and the self-proclaimed "Zinfandel Capital of the World." More than 40% of the state’s Zinfandels are produced there, and while Lodi is often known for Zinfandel, the region is home to over 100 varietals of world-class winegrapes. A great wine region and destination, Lodi is home to a variety of tasting rooms (over 65) that have opened in recent years, most which are located within a 15-minute drive from downtown.
San Jose, in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, is the third-largest city in California (and the 10th largest in the U.S.) and consistently wins awards for its livability and appeal. Winner of a National Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists, San Jose is home to an ever-growing network of cycling trails. It’s no wonder it’s one of the host cities of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California.
Nicknamed “Silicon Valley,” the San Jose area is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations including Google, Facebook and Intel. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States and the world, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development.
Stage 4 of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California weaves through California’s Central Coast. Spectators can travel the Bob Jones "City to Sea" Bike Trail – by bike or foot – past farmland and through streamside forests on a route that parallels shady San Luis Obispo Creek. The trail is a well-paved, county-maintained bike trail and great for all levels of hiking and biking.
Pismo Beach is Classic California. Take a stroll on the 1,200-foot historic Pismo Beach Pier and Promenade, saddle up for horseback riding along the water's edge or rent sand buggies and ATVs and explore the famous sand dunes on California's only drive-on beach. At the finish in Avila Beach, you can cover the charming town in a leisurely 15-minute stroll! As a source of natural, mineral hot springs, “Avila” means spas: hot tub soaking and retreats with world-class massage, yoga and therapy. Enjoy leisurely strolls out over the water, and the pier-based restaurants, which always offer fresh seasonal seafood. Avila is also an active fishing harbor with many fresh fish markets offering live crab, and fresh seafood.
Santa Barbara, “The American Riviera,” is known for its beautiful beaches, iconic architecture and award-winning wine country, but it is also a great place for cycling. It’s no wonder it’s a host city of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. The Santa Barbara South Coast does not skimp on outdoor adventure. Whether you’re looking to jump on a stand-up paddleboard, hop in a sea kayak, or take to the surrounding trails, it’s easy to be your own motor here.
Stage 5 crosses the finish line in Santa Clarita, the third largest city in Los Angeles County. Named, “the best place to live in California,” Santa Clarita boasts some of California’s most coveted golf courses, charming wine lounges, fine dining, retail shopping, live music and a rich western heritage. It’s also home to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the thrill capital of the world and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, a tropical water adventure for the entire family!
Just two hours from Los Angeles and set at nearly 7,000-feet, the San Bernardino Mountains offer a cool, pine-scented escape. Big Bear Lake is a Southern California Playground – a hub for alpine fun, with skiing and snowboarding in winter and mountain biking, hiking and water sports in summer.Ideal conditions include sunny blue skies, cool and mild weather, gorgeous green forests and a lake full to the brim.Big Bear Lake's 23 miles of shoreline have it all: parasailing, paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, jet skiing, kayaking and more. Parasail over the lake for a breathtaking, bird's-eye-view.
The City of Big Bear Lake will host of the Individual Time Trial. The course begins in the heart of the Village in Big Bear Lake and cyclists will enjoy a one-of-a-kind waterfront finish with spectacular panoramic views of the Lake.
Stage 7 of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California weaves its way through the Inland Empire. The race starts in Ontario, where you can find great deals at the Ontario Mills Mall or see a concert or sporting event at the state-of-the-art 10,000-seat Citizens Business Bank Arena or watch NASCAR and INDY car racing face-off at Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana, Southern California’s premier motor-sports facility.
The race finishes at Mt. Baldy, the "crown jewel" of the San Gabriel Mountains. At just over 10,000 feet, Mt. Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and the highest point in Los Angeles County. The peak, which marks a boundary between San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County, is called “Baldy” because of the absence of trees around the summit.
The 2015 Amgen Tour of California concludes in sunny Los Angeles. Stage 8 starts at downtown’s sizzling entertainment center, L.A. LIVE. The 4 million square-foot complex boasts top restaurants, nightclubs, movie theaters, a bowling alley, a major concert venue and the Staples Center. You can also often find street performers, musicians and artists of all kinds showcasing their talents. There’s always something going on, so make sure you check their websites to find out what and when.
The racers will cross the final finish line in Pasadena. Nestled at the base of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains, less than 10 miles northeast of downtown L.A., Pasadena is quintessential Southern California. From mountains caressed by the sun, through gardens radiant with roses, to extraordinary turn-of-the-century architecture, there is nowhere else quite like Pasadena. Spanning 22 blocks of historic streets and alleyways, Old Pasadena reflects the traditions of early California, with more than 200 retail stores, art galleries, trendy boutiques, vintage clothing stores, theaters and restaurants.