As renowned professional cyclists from all across the globe gear up for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, tour officials announced the details of the opening three stages of the annual race Wednesday.
The race, which is set to kick off May 15-22, will start on a Sunday on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. Stage 1 will continue for roughly 119 miles until cyclists reach North Lake Tahoe’s Northstar at Tahoe Resort. This year will also mark the first time the race will venture outside the Golden State, as 27 miles will wind through Nevada.
Stage 2 will feature 133 miles from North Lake Tahoe to Sacramento, crossing the infamous Donner Pass.
Once riders reach the state Capitol Building, racers will once again be able to demonstrate their speed on the 120-mile stretch of stamina-testing road from Auburn to Modesto.
The opening rounds of the race promise to be intense. The remaining five stage courses will be announced today and Friday.
The race was founded in 2005 by Amgen and has been considered California’s Tour de France.
With the race covering more than 800 miles of landscape, the race plays host to 15 cities. San Francisco will not be part of any stages of the event.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong competed in the race last year, in which Australia’s Michael Rogers nabbed first place.
WHEN: May 15-22
WHAT: An eight-day, 800-mile cycling race that begins in Lake Tahoe and finishes in Thousand Oaks
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Michael Rogers
AEG, the organizer of the Amgen Tour of California, shares the same owners as Clarity Media, which oversees The San Francisco Examiner.