TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

In a state famous for big trees & big mountains, the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will see the biggest names in cycling test themselves and their rivals on some familiar and not-so familiar roads. In this edition of Route Scout, we dive into the route and sample the behind-the-scenes magic that makes this race tick. Welcome to our backyard.

ROUTE SCOUT

TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

In a state famous for big trees, big mountains—and if you believe it, Bigfoot—the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will see some of the biggest names in cycling test themselves and their rivals on some familiar and not-so familiar roads. For only the second time in its history, the route heads south to north and blends in some of California’s most well-known roads, like Big Sur, along with entirely new climbs like Gibraltar Road. In this edition of Route Scout, we explore this beautiful beast of a climb, went behind the scenes with a real-life route scout to see how stages are born, and previewed each day of racing, so you’re primed and ready for Sunday.

BEING PART OF THE TOUR OF CALIFORNIA, FOR THE RIDERS, IT'S A BIG WINDOW FOR THEM, BASICALLY, TO SHOWCASE THEIR TALENT, AND TO SHOW HOW STRONG THEY ARE, AND HOW THEY HAVE THE TALENT TO CONTRIBUTE TO A PRO TOUR TEAM IN THE YEARS TO COME.

Axel Merckx, owner Axeon Hagens Berman

There is no better postcard for the Golden State than the Amgen Tour of California. From beaches to the mountains, and deserts to the redwood forests, it’s the kind of race that makes you want to go ride your bike in California. With that in mind, we’ve chosen three “Locals Only” routes inspired by the race, including one recommended by an ex-pro who lives near the start of Stage 3. If they have one thing in common, it’s that there’re little nuggets of goodness, demonstrating the kinds of rides you can unearth in this vast state once you start to explore.

The Amgen Tour of California runs from May 15-22, with the four-day Women’s race starting May 19th. Welcome to our backyard.

LOCALS ONLY

A legendary pro's favorite local route; a climb fit for a King with challenging grades and views to match; an out-and-back that leaves a deathly taste in your mouth—here are just three local routes based off the 2016 Amgen Tour of California.

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THE REAL ROUTE SCOUT

Imagine it—getting paid to see where roads go. We sat down with a real route scout for the Tour of California to get the download on roads—how they find and select them; fold them into a pattern to make an 8-day tour logically string together; and what it takes to organize the Tour of California.

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STAGE NOTES

With eight stages and terrain ranging from sweeping coastlines to alpine climbs, the Tour of California is a postcard on the move. But as we demonstrate, it’s also a stage race that sings. In this day-by-day preview, we match each stage with a song to provide a laid-back, West Coast soundtrack to get you ready for the race.

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OF MICE AND MOUNTAIN MEN

When the pros hit Gibraltar Road there’ll be fireworks. But what’s it like to climb it if you’re just a regular rider? To find out, we convinced a local Santa Barbara rider to take on Gibraltar and discovered along the way that riding bikes is a lot like making beer—you can be part science, part gambler, and you cannot be timid.

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I AM SPECIALIZED: AXEL MERCKX

Axel Merckx is a legend in his own right, but today, his focus is on developing cycling's future stars with the Axeon Hagens Berman cycling team. The question is, how bright will those stars shine at this year's Tour of California?

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SUFFER FACE

The women’s Tour of California route takes them from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento in four days, with two road stages, a TTT, and a circuit race to finish. Here, we talk you through what to expect for each stage, and hear from one of the best suffer faces in the business, Evelyn Stevens, on how the pain of day may vary.

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