Tour of California 2014 Route stage 1: Sacramento-Sacramento

Tour of California Stage 1 winner Ben SwiftSunday, May 11 – The Tour of California 2014 opens in Sacramento. The city hosted the race five times in its eight year history. A bunch sprint the likely result in the 6th largest city in California. (Slideshow route/profile)

The 193.1 kilometre stage opens flat and ends flat. Both start and finish are at the steps of State Capitol on L Street.

After leaving the city on the banks of Sacramento River, riders face some climbing halfway through the route. One of the hills is the categorized climb up Confluence – 2.8 kilomtres long, average gradient of 8%. On the way back to Sacramento the final 70 kilometres are as flat as can be.

Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, inhabited by half a million people. The city hosted the Tour of California five times but in the last 2 edition the riders skipped the birth place of Olympic Gold Medalists like Mark Spitz, Eric Heiden and Alyssa Anderson.

The last stage victory in Sacramento went to Ben Swift (image – source on a rainy day in 2011, while Peter Sagan came in second and Matthew Goss third. The preceding year Mark Cavendish sprinted to the win in Sacramento.

The Sacramento area was ‘discovered’ around 1800 by the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga. One of the writers in his staff noted: ‘Es como el sagrado sacramento!’ meaning something like ‘It’s like the Holy Sacrament’. It was a short step to find an appropriate name for the city that was built on the banks of the river, also known as the Sacramento River.

The opening stage last year was an out and back from Escondido. Lieuwe Westra jumped out of the peloton in the last 5 kilometers and was accompanied by Francisco Mancebo. The Dutchman defeated the Spaniard in the two-up sprint and took the first yellow jersey, as well as the green one.

The stage starts at 19.50 CET and the finish is expected around 00:30.

Tour of California 2014 stage 1: Images and more

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