Specific route details for the 2010 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race are being announced this week via specially-produced videos highlighting each of the race’s eight stages. Today’s videos, which were produced by the cities of Visalia, Bakersfield, Pasadena and Big Bear Lake, highlight Stages 5 and 6 of the race, and can be found on the Amgen Tour of California Web site (www.amgentourofcalifornia.com), along with the videos for stages 1-4. All eight stages will be posted by Friday, Feb. 12.
The Amgen Tour of California returns to Visalia for the start of Stage 5, a stage that will take the riders through the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After departing Visalia, the race will head due south through the towns of Exeter and Lindsay. Just south of Porterville, the route heads further inland and tackles the narrow and twisty Old Stage Rd. into the town of Woody. Continuing on to Bakersfield, the route heads into the Kern River oil field, the fifth largest in the United States, where the riders will encounter several short, steep climbs. From the apex of the final climb, the cyclists will be able to look down onto the finish at Bakersfield College. The final obstacle is a 10 percent climb up China Grade, part of two finishing circuits in Bakersfield.
Pasadena City Hall will serve as the backdrop for the most difficult stage the cyclists have faced in the five-year history of the Amgen Tour of California. After crossing the Colorado St. Bridge and passing by the Rose Bowl, the route will wind through the City of La Cañada Flintridge. From there, the riders continue on a 135-mile odyssey with more than 12,000 ft. of climbing. The race will climb to a high point of nearly 8,000 ft. as it rolls along the Angeles Crest Highway. Then, there is a brief respite as they descend to Wrightwood and over to Highway 138. The route again goes vertical as it passes through Crestline and Lake Arrowhead, as the cyclists take to the “Rim of the World” highway. Entering the Big Bear area, the riders will take the northern route around Big Bear Lake and then tackle the last ascent to the finish at a more than 7,000-foot elevation at the Snow Summit ski area for the Amgen Tour of California’s first-ever mountaintop finish.