What’s more exciting than a mountaintop finish? The highly anticipated Stage 5 boasts 12,000 feet of elevation gain, the most for any one stage of the race. Mt. Baldy’s 15 switchbacks—which appeared in the 2011, 2012, and 2015 races—create a finish so punishing and dramatic that it has been compared with various stages in the Tour de France.
The peloton will start by climbing up to the Village of Mount Baldy, where they’ll turn left to tackle the technical and twisting roads leading them to the first of three challenging KOMs. The second KOM will be the nine-mile grind on Glendora Mountain Road, aka GMR to local cyclists. At Ice House Canyon, the monster climbing begins on the steep switchbacks to the top of Mount Baldy, where the rider with the most fatigue-resistant legs will cross the finish in front of a screaming crowd.
Where to watch
Stage 5 starts at the Ontario Convention Center, where you can get up close and personal with the riders in autograph alley and hear the start line interviews before they take on the 77.9-mile route. “If you can, go see the race start in Ontario, then head to the final three miles, where the fans will be lining the switchbacks,” Klein says. “There’s a good chance the race will stay together until the final three miles of the summit, so this finish will be one to watch.”
May 18 at 12 p.m., finish at 3:45 p.m.; 78 mi/125.5 km
Where to stop
If nothing makes you happier than finding a good deal on clothing, fit in a quick shopping trip to California’s largest outlet center, Ontario Mills. You’ll find more than 200 stores, including the Coach Factory Store, Nordstrom Rack, and The North Face, as well as the perfect California travel resource—the Ontario California Welcome Center.
Restaurant options get slim near the top of Mount Baldy, but for a casual American meal, sit on the patio of the rustic Mt. Baldy Lodge to enjoy pub grub like potato skins or a grilled chicken sandwich. Play a round of pool before heading up to claim a spot on the switchbacks.