Tour of California to start with S.F. time trial

The Amgen Tour of California, a Tour de France-style stage race featuring some of the top cycling teams in the world, will begin its demanding 650-mile course with a prologue in San Francisco this Sunday, Feb. 18.

Cyclists will then compete in eight stages, passing through some of the most beautiful areas in the state, from the vineyards of Napa Valley to the redwoods and the Pacific Coast.

The prologue, a challenging 1.9-mile individual time trial, starts at 1:00 p.m by the Ferry Building at Pier 1. Cyclists will ride along the Embarcardero, making a sharp left onto Bay Street and then up the tight, steep climb through Telegraph Hill to the finish at Coit Tower.

The 2006 race, which was won by Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, attracted some of the world's best cyclists and 1.3 million spectators.

This year’s race will include eight stages after the San Francisco prologue:

  1. Monday, Feb. 19 – Sausalito to Santa Rosa
  2. Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Santa Rosa to Sacramento
  3. Wednesday, Feb. 21 – Stockton to San Jose
  4. Thursday, Feb. 22 – Seaside to San Luis Obispo
  5. Friday, Feb. 23 – Solvang individual time trial
  6. Saturday, Feb. 24 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
  7. Sunday, Feb. 25 – Long Beach circuit race.

The 2007 Amgen Tour of California, which will raise funds for The Wellness Community and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, will feature the following professional racing teams:

  • BMC Racing Team (USA)
  • Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light Team (USA)
  • Crédit Agricole (France)
  • Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • Gerolsteiner (Germany)
  • Health Net Presented by Maxxis (USA)
  • Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)
  • Liquigas Pro Cycling Team (Italy)
  • Navigators Insurance Cycling Team (USA)
  • Predictor-Lotto (Belgium)
  • Priority Health Cycling Team Presented by Bissell (USA)
  • Quick Step-Innergetic (Belgium)
  • Rabobank Cycling Team (Netherlands)
  • T-Mobile Team (Germany)
  • Team CSC (Denmark)
  • Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle (USA)
  • Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • USA Cycling National Development Team (USA)

(Race map courtesy of Amgen Tour of California.)

Photos, race video, standings, interviews, and play-by-play information are available online at the Amgen Tour of California site.

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