With no elevation gain for the day, the race includes three loops before a likely fast finishers showdown. Winning the Sacramento stage in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Mark Cavendish is record holder, while Fernando Gaviria powered to victory last year. The Colombian is riding the Giro, but Cav is among the competitors in California.
The route is virtually the same as last year, so the race starts in the shadow of the California State Capitol before it rolls across the photo-genetic Tower Bridge and moves through West Sacramento. Once on the western bank of the Sacramento River, the Tour traverses the straight rural roads of Yolo County into Woodland and Winters. There are no KOMs underway and back in Sacramento, the peloton finishes with three 3.3 kilometres loops around Capital Circuit.
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.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 62 and at kilometre 132) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 1st stage 2019 Tour of California.
Tour of California 2019 stage 1: routes, profile, more
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