Twice before Folsom hosted the Tour of California. On both occasions it was an ITT. In 2014, Bradley Wiggins powered to victory and in 2016 Rohan Dennis did.
From the start, the route heads uphill into the Sierra Nevada foothills. Shortly after moving through Placerville, which was the epicenter of the 1948 Gold Rush, the first KOM points are up for grabs on Cedar Ravine Road after a 3.3 kilometres climb at 4.6%. The road calmly climbs on though.
A left-hander leads the riders to Pleasant Valley before the next KOM looms on Sly Park Road. To pocket the points the riders are to climb a demanding uphill sector of 4.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.9%. Then it’s time for a breather on a flat interlude. Just before Jenkinson Lake the route makes a right turn at a fork in the road and continues onto the Mormon Emigrant Trail. Shortly a KOM of 2.6 kilometres at 6.9% appears.
The Tour of California follows the Mormon Emigrant Trail deep into the Sierra Nevada. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery the riders follow in the footsteps of immigrants heading west in historic America. In 1848, members of the so-called Mormon Battalion from Sutter’s Fort cleared a new trail through the mountains. Now the climbers will seek every opportunity to stand out. Yet, they have to be patient as the summit is crested after a long and gradual ascent. Or, to be more precise, summits…
Following the long haul up Mormon Emigrant Trail a short descent leads to a KOM near Kirkwood at the end of a 3.9 kilometres section at 6.3%. A short run on the flat and the route kicks up to Carson Pass, which is a 4.7 kilometres climb at 4.6%. The Pass – which was named after Kit Carson – peaks at 2,615 metres.
A 35 kilometres descent enters Nevada before it goes on to Sheridan. Shortly the route once again kicks up to tackle the climb to the Daggett Pass – 12.7 kilometres at 6.1%. From the summit the riders drop down and re-enter California before they start the final haul up to the high altitude resort of Heavenly above South Lake Tahoe. The closing climb of this monster stage is 1.7 kilometres and averaging 5.9%.
Twice before, the Tour of California aimed to visit South Lake Tahoe. In 2011, the race was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, but in 2016 Toms Skujins brought the early break home.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 32.5 and at kilometre 169.5) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 6th stage 2018 Tour of California.
Tour of California 2018 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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