Tour of California 2018: The Route
Edition 2018 of the Tour of California is played out from 13 May to 19 May. Starting in Long Beach and finishing in Sacramento, it’s the third time in race history that the route runs from south to north. The Tour of California covers a variety of terrain, allowing different types of specialists to shine throughout the seven-day stage race. George Bennett is title holder.
The 2018 Tour of California begins close to Los Angeles, in Long Beach. The race revisits Long Beach for the first time since 2007, when Cuban Iván Domínguez sprinted to victory in the last stage of an edition that was won by Levi Leipheimer. In 2018, the Long Beach criterium will be the 1st stage and it’s likely we’ll see a fast finishers showdown.
As early as stage 2 the focus shifts to the climbers. The race travels from Ventura – a first time host – to Santa Barbara County for a summit finish on Gibraltar Road after a 12 kilometres climb at 8%, while the last 2 kilometres go up at 10%. It’s here Julian Alaphilippe propelled to both stage and overall victory in 2016.
King City debuts as a host in the Tour of California. Stage 3 sets off in the town in Monterey County to run to the Laguna Seca raceway on the Monterey Peninsula. The route features six KOM climbs and the last one – a punchy double digits climb – is situated just before entering the racetrack. Two editions ago Peter Sagan outsprinted a reduced peloton at Leguna Seca.
A possibly decisive day will be the fourth day of action. Stage 4 is an individual time trial in San Jose before stage 5 runs from Stockton to a sprinter’s finish in Elk Grove.
Stage 6 will be last chance for the GC guys, as this is a monster stage to the high altitude resort of Heavenly in the mountains above South Lake Tahoe. The route features 4,880 climbing metres and amounts to almost 200 kilometres.
The final day of action brings a criterium in Sacramento. Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish are the last winners in the capital city of California, so we should not expect any changes in the overall rankings.
Tour of California 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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