On May 12th, the Silicon Valley will play host to the prestigious Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest and most prominent professional cycling event. Hundreds of cyclists will race through San Jose as they compete in stage 3 of the 8-day, 724-mile race.
Beginning on May 10th in Sacramento, the Tour attracts the most elite cyclists and cycling teams from around the world, including many that participate in the iconic Tour de France. This year marks the Tour of California’s 10the anniversary and brings with it 18 renown teams and big names that anyone familiar with cycling will know, including Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel.
Over the 8 day race, the cyclists will traverse over 700 miles of California’s most striking and familiar streets and highways and climb over 43,000 feet, including summiting the 4,126 feet of San Jose’s Mount Hamilton. Much like the Tour de France, the Tour of California includes literal uphill battles for King of the Mountain, nail-biting sprints, mind-blowing time trials and a level of athleticism that is awe-inspiring. Unlike its French counterpart, the California race includes both men teams and women’s teams.
The city of San Jose holds the unique distinction of being a host city for all ten years of the Tour’s existence. The May 12th stage 3 start returns to the Berryessa Community Center with the riders heading toward Livermore via narrow and winding Calaveras Road. The race will head up the back of Mount Hamilton, descending its incredibly steep and technical front. The athletes will then they head to Quimby Road and will finish the race at Motorcycle County Park.
In addition to being a professional competitive event, the Tour of California also helps raise funds and awareness for cancer through their Breakaway Mile, which occurs on the Tour course prior to the day’s professional race finish in Lodi, Pismo Beach and Pasadena. The 1/2 to one-mile walk honors and celebrates cancer survivors as part of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer®. Founded in 2005, the national initiative increases awareness of vital resources available to those touched by cancer from prevention through survivorship.
For more information on the Tour of California, the participating teams, descriptions of the various stages and more, visit their website.