The Tour of California is returning to its north-to-south route, but the largest cycling race in the United States will not be coming through San Francisco.
In announcing its route for the 2014 race, the Tour’s first stage will begin and end in Sacramento on May 11. The state’s capital city also hosted the prologue in 2009 and was a stage finish four other years.
Santa Rosa, which had been part of the race in seven of the last eight years, decided not to bid on being a host city. San Francisco hosted the start of a stage last year on Marina Green.
After a time trial in Folsom (a debut city), Stage 3 on May 13 will be the only Bay Area connection. That part runs from San Jose to Mount Diablo, which has an elevation of 3,489 feet. Mount Diablo is one of the toughest climbs in the event’s eight-year history.
From there, the race goes to Monterey and down the California coast, finishing in Thousand Oaks.
The eight-day race, won last year by American Tejay van Garderen, will cover more than 700 miles. Americans have won the race in six of its eight years.