Top professional cyclists return to California this May for the 13th annual Amgen Tour of California, North America’s largest bike race. Each year, the multi-stage race takes riders on some of the Golden State’s most beautiful roads en route to exciting finishes with a festival atmosphere in each host city. The 2018 men’s route will cover 645 miles over seven stages, and the women’s race will cover nearly 200 miles over three stages.
If you’ve never experienced the thrill of a world-class peloton zipping past you in real life, the Tour of California is your chance to get in on the action. It might even inspire you to bike around California yourself—in which case, start with these 8 tips for cycling in California and then check out the best routes according to pro cyclists.
Fan-favorite Peter Sagan—the sport’s first three-time consecutive World Champion—will return to add to his record 16 stage wins, as will super-sprinter Mark Cavendish, who has 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name.
The Tour of California starts with a spectator-friendly route in Long Beach and heads north, finishing with an exciting circuit stage in Sacramento. Read on for the details of each stage.
Stage One – Sunday, May 13
Long Beach, 83 miles/133 kilometers
Stage Two – Monday, May 14
Ventura to Santa Barbara County's Gibraltar Road, 96.3 miles/155 kilometers
Stage Three – Tuesday, May 15
King City to Monterey County’s Laguna Seca Recreation Area, 122.4 miles/197 kilometers
Stage Four – Wednesday, May 16
San Jose/Morgan Hill, 21.6 miles/34.7 kilometers individual time trial
Stage Five – Thursday, May 17
Stockton to Elk Grove, 109.4 miles/176 kilometers
Stage Six – Friday, May 18
Folsom to South Lake Tahoe, 122 miles/196.5 kilometers
Stage Seven – Saturday, May 19
Sacramento, 90.7 miles/146 kilometers
Stage One – Thursday, May 17
Elk Grove, 76.7 miles/123.5 kilometers
Stage Two – Friday, May 18
South Lake Tahoe, 67.1 miles/108 kilometers
Stage Three – Saturday, May 19
Sacramento, 43.5 miles/70 kilometers circuit race