TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA GUIDE PAGE

This Guide Page created by Pedal Dancer® for the Amgen Tour of California is intended to offer cycling fans stage details, spectator tips and cycling education to make your experience at the race more enjoyable and informed. I have created a spectator guide to ATOC for six years with route maps, start and finish times and where to see the race. I write insider tips on how to see your favorite riders, obtain autographs and watch a time trial. I write stories of interest for fans and travelers during the race. I am a credentialed photographer at the race.

Pedal Dancer is a bike blog with a focus on those who watch the race from home, along the barricade, or out on the roadside. I help travelers (and armchair travelers) find good information about the sport of cycling and attending bike races.

Riders on the start line at Tour of California
See the best cyclists in the world compete! Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
2016 Amgen Tour of California

Tour of California dates and host cities

Stage 1 - San Diego, May 15, 2016
Stage 2 - South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, May 16, 2016
Stage 3 - Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County, May 17, 2016
Stage 4 - Morro Bay to Monterey County, May 18, 2016
Stage 5 - Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, May 19, 2016
Stage 6 - Folsom Individual Time Trial & Women's Team Time Trial, May 20, 2016
Stage 7 - Santa Rosa, May 21, 2016
Stage 8 - Sacramento, May 22, 2016

Tour of California - maps, start and finish times, city information
Classification jerseys of the Tour of California
Classification jerseys of the Tour of California 2016: Leader, Sprinter, Climber, Young, Courageous.
Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016:
Coming soon: Startlist and bib number Amgen Tour of California 2016;  National and World Championship jerseys at the Tour of California; and stories from the race ...

Tour of California yellow jersey 2016
Official Tour of California 2016 yellow leader's jersey
TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

2016 Amgen Tour of California FAQs:
Previous Winners of the Amgen Tour of California:

2015 - SAGAN Peter
2014 - WIGGINS Bradley
2013 - VAN GARDEREN Tejay
2012 - GESINK Robert
2011 - HORNER Chris
2010 - ROGERS Michael
2009 - LEIPHEIMER Levi
2008 - LEIPHEIMER Levi
2007 - LEIPHEIMER Levi

2016 Big News:
Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan at the 2015 Tour of California.
Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan at the 2015 Tour of California. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
TOPICS ON THIS GUIDE PAGE FOR FANS

The content below has been compiled with great care to help the spectator learn more about the sport of professional cycling and have an enjoyable day at the race based on good information; leaving you free to have fun! Below you will find:
  • Pre-race activities in San Diego
  • Team Presentation
  • How to watch the tour of California on TV and online live 
  • Stage routes and maps for each stage of the Tour of California
  • The teams
  • VIP Passes and Experiences
  • Breakaway from Cancer Mile walk
  • L'Etape California
  • Blog posts from Pedal Dancer®
  • Stories of Interest to fans
  • Tips on how to get an autograph 
  • Team jerseys
  • Classification jerseys
  • About the priority of jerseys
  • Jerseys at time trials
  • Who will wear bib #1
  • Who to follow on Twitter
  • Bikes and Equipment at the Tour of California
  • Tips on viewing a time trial as a fan
  • Tips on Photography
  • What Race Organizers do
  • What Host Cities do
  • Fan Education
  • Terminology for the race
  • Tips for spectators
The peloton rides through Camarillo in 2015 ATOC
The peloton rides through Camarillo in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
PRE-RACE

For Tourists

Sponsor VisitCalifornia.com Amgen Tour of California race website (not much offered here). I offer some tourist ideas at these links:

Team Presentation and Pre-race kick-off rides and celebrations

Friday, May 13, 2016: Team Presentation

Tickets are being sold for fans to attend the "Champions will Rise" Team Presentation and Kick-off Celebration on Friday, May 13, 2016 in San Diego at Sea World from 5:00-10:00pm. The evening will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation and will be presented by AEG, hosted by SeaWorld, SD TOC LOC and J&L Pie.
  • Buy tickets to the 2016 Tour of California Team Presentation: About Ticket packages, and Registration.
  • Cost is $100 for Team Presentation only; $250 for Team Presentation and Dinner; or $600 for the Domestique Package which includes Team Presentation and Dinner, International Press Conference, Supported ride options, and VIP access to finish line hospitality tent. $1000 for 2 tickets Peloton Package (the works), $5000 for Champion Sponsor 4 tickets (the works+); and $10,000 for the works++ for 8 persons.
  • Valet bike parking: Blind Stokers Club will be providing secure Bike Valet for cyclists riding bikes to the Team Presentation evening at Sea World.
  • Keep up on news about events in San Diego at the website of the San Diego Local Organizing Committee: San Diego ATOC.
Schedule of pre race events in San Diego area in the weeks prior to the Amgen Tour of California:

Dates of earlier events and rides: information.

Thursday, May 12, 2016: 12pm - 2pm: Ride and coffee with TREK Factory Team​ from Solana Beach TREK Superstore at 211 N Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Coastal route, semi-casual pace. Team jerseys for sale and team autographs will be available.

Friday, May 13, 2016: International Press Conference with select riders and Media Luncheon. Attendees: VIP riders from the world’s top cycling teams, AEG executive staff, Amgen corporate representatives, Amgen Tour of California race sponsors and San Diego dignitaries led by Mayor Kevin Falconer. Not open to the public; only approved credentialed media and those buying the Domestic, Peloton or Champion ticket packages through ChallengedAthletes.org will be allowed to attend the press conference (about ticket packages). Press Conference location: SD Yacht Club (1011 Anchorage Ln, San Diego, CA 92106), time: beginning at 11:00 a.m.. Additional display events surrounding the press conference will spotlight the economic impact local companies make on the cycling industry nationally and internationally. Read more to participate.

In my opinion Press conferences are really not all that exciting but are a fine tradition, read: Let's talk about this race - Press Conference by Pedal Dancer® on what it's like to attend a press conference. Although sometimes you can tell if a rider is in excellent form the first time you see him at the pre race press conference.

Team Presentations, however, are a festive atmosphere and an excellent opportunity to see the riders together with their teams; without helmets, sunglasses and in casual clothing. A fun way to familiarize yourself with who is competing in this year's race.

Tour of California Team Presentation


Friday, May 13, 2016: Team Presentation (tickets required for all levels of events Tickets) presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation. Location: Sea World, address: 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109.
  • 5:00-6:00 pm - VIP Reception (requiring a VIP ticket purchase) on the Mission Bay Theater Patio with auction and guests: race announcers Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett, former pros Jens Voigt and Christian Vande Velde, local celebrities, local political leaders and executives from AEG (race owner).
  • 6:00-8:00 pm - General Admission to the Team Presentation Program and Challenged Athletes honoree in the Mission Bay Theater. A celebrity announcer will present the riders on each of the 18 teams and interview key riders.
  • 8:00 pm - Dinner and Sea World Experience entertainment in the Manta and Dolphin Bay area.
Saturday, May 14, 2016: Veteran’s Tribute Ride with NBA legend, Bill Walton presented by Three Wise Men Veterans Foundation. 30-mile ride through Pt Loma, Downtown, Hillcrest and Old Town with local celebrities and dignitaries. A supported ride, open to public with entry fee. Ride location: Park and Register at Marina Village (1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, CA 92109); Start at Ski Beach (Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109); Finish at Marina Village - same as Stage 1 race finish location. Be there by 7:30 am, ride departs at 8:00 am. Ride details. Buy ride Tickets at Three Wise Men, or buy Tickets as part of the Challenged Athletes events. $55 donation,

Saturday, May 14, 2016: Ride with the Pros Ride, presented by Three Wise Men Veterans Foundation. 109-mile ride along the same course as the Tour of California Stage 1. A supported ride on the full Stage 1 course alongside former pro riders. Open to public with entry fee. Ride location: Park and Register at Marina Village (1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, CA 92109); Start at Ski Beach (Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109); Finish at Marina Village - same as Stage 1 race finish location. Be there by 7:30 am, ride departs at 8:00 am. Ride details. Buy ride Tickets at Three Wise Men, or buy Tickets as part of the Challenged Athletes events. $250 donation (109-mile ride donors get free tickets to Tour of California VIP tent at the Start and Finish of Stage 1, normal VIP cost for San Diego is $209).

Sunday, May 15, 2016: Many special events taking place during the first stage of the men's tour in San Diego.
  • Breakaway Mile: Register for the San Diego Breakaway Mile walk in support of Cancer Survivorship prior to the men's race finish (more information below).
  • Watch Parties on route: 9 different watch parties are planned along the route of Stage 1, find a party.
  • Start VIP tent hours will be from 10:00AM - 12:00 PM. Finish VIP tent hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM. (VIP locations are not the same but I was told by the VIP Experience salesperson that a purchase of the Finish VIP pass will get you into both places at the start and finish). Buy VIP tickets
  • Lifestyle Festival location is on Quivira Way, Pacific Beach, festival hours are 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM.

HOW TO WATCH

TOUR TRACKER and TV

How to watch the Amgen Tour of California live anywhere:

Follow the Amgen Tour of California Men's Race and the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race live on Tour Tracker, the app that gives you in depth access and analysis of America's Greatest Race via the web or your mobile device. Whether you are out on the road, waiting at the finish line, or watching at home, you can keep track of the race Download the app.

Amgen Tour of California Tour Tracker
Tour Tracker ATOC
How to watch the Amgen Tour of California live online:

You can watch TourTracker on the web. For international fans, to view the Tour of California in Europe, please visit Steephill.TV and the list of live or recorded links. Last year the Tour of California was shown on Eurosport and on SBS in Australia. International links to coverage (bottom of page): http://www.steephill.tv/tour-of-california/ (1 mile = 1.60934km).

How to watch the Amgen Tour of California on TV

NBS Sports Network has committed to providing a preview show, as well as daily highlights of Stages 1-8, in addition to airing 2-hours of the final stage LIVE on their primary NBC station. TV Schedule (coming as soon as officially announced).

Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen NBC
Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Men's race TV coverage Amgen Tour of California - mostly on NBCSN with the final stage on NBC - TV Schedule for the Tour of California. Find your local NBC Sports Network Channel HERE

MEN's RACE COVERAGE
  • Sunday 5/8/16 Amgen Tour of California Preview Show* 5:00PM PDT on NBCSN
  • Sunday 5/15/16 Men's Stage 1 presented by Breakaway From Heart Disease 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Monday 5/16/16 Men's Stage 2 presented by SRAM 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Tuesday 5/17/16 Men's Stage 3 presented by Breakaway From Cancer 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Wednesday 5/18/16 Men's Stage 4 presented by Visit California 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Thursday 5/19/16 Men's Stage 5 presented by Visit California 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Friday 5/20/16 Men's Stage 6 presented by SRAM 2-4 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Saturday 5/21/16 Men's Stage 7 presented by Lexus 1:30-3:30p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Sunday 5/22/16 Men's Stage 8 presented by Lexus 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. PDT on NBC
*All times are subject to change / Times Tentative due to NHL Playoffs

MEN's RECAP SHOWS
  • Sunday 5/15/16 Men's Stage 1 Recap Show 11:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Monday 5/16/16 Men's Stage 2 Men's Stage 2 Recap Show 10:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Tuesday 5/17/16 Men's Stage 3 Men's Stage 3 Recap Show 9:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Wednesday 5/18/16 Men's Stage 4 Men's Stage 4 Recap Show 9:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Thursday 5/19/16 Men's Stage 5 Men's Stage 5 Recap Show 9:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Friday 5/20/16 Men's Stage 6 Recap Show 9:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Saturday 5/21/16 Men's Stage 7 Recap Show 10:00 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
  • Sunday 5/22/16 Men's Stage 8 Recap Show 11:00 p.m. PDT on NBC
Women's race TV coverage Amgen Tour of California - available only on the Tour Tracker app:

WOMEN's RACE COVERAGE
  • Thursday 5/19/16 Stage 1 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Friday 5/20/16 Stage 2 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Saturday 5/21/16 Stage 3 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
  • Sunday 5/22/16 Stage 4 Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Highlight 9:00 p.m. PDT On Tour Tracker app only
WOMEN's RECAP SHOWS
  • Thursday 5/26/16 AmgenBreakaway From Heart Disease Women's Race Empowered by SRAM Recap Show 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. PDT on NBCSN
Santa Barbara
Beautiful Santa Barbara, California. I took this photo last year at the race while waiting for the stage start in Santa Barbara. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

THE STAGES

ROUTE MAPS OF 2016 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

The stage date, stage start times, finish times, distances and elevation gained are listed for each stage. 
Tour of California route map 2016
www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/stages
STAGE ROUTE MAPS - MENS Amgen Tour of California

Stage 1 - San Diego, May 15, 2016 Stage 1's start and finish on the water near Mission Bay and downtown San Diego. The start and finish are not in the same exact location.
  • Day: Sunday, May 15, 2016
  • Overall Stage Start time: Mission Bay San Diego at 11:30 AM (not 10:30!)
  • Stage 1 start time is 11:30 AM (the San Diego Local Organizing Committee has wrongly printed the start time as 10:30am, this is incorrect). As at every other UCI race, riders must sign-in on the sign-in stage, at least one hour before the stage start. There is also a customary singing of the national anthem before the start; these proceedings are not considered the race start (affecting road closures).
  • Start location: Ski Beach (Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109)
  • Neutral Start, until Km 0
  • Start and Finish line are not in the same location.  
  • Finish location: Marina Village (1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, CA 92109)
  • Stage Finish time: Mission Bay San Diego at 3:40 PM*
  • Miles: 106 mi
  • Kilometers: 170.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 6,700 ft
  • Stage 1 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Imperial Beach, 2) Navajo Road
  • KOM location: Honey Springs Road 
  • City websites: San Diego ATOC
  • Join a Watch Party on route: 9 different watch parties are planned along the route of Stage 1, find a party
  • Start VIP Hours:  10:00AM - 12:00 PM (VIP locations are not the same)
  • Finish VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM (VIP pass works in both locations)
  • Festival Hours near start / finish: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM. 
  • Festival location: on Quivira Way, Pacific Beach.
  • Breakaway Mile: Register for the San Diego Breakaway Mile (prior to the men's race finish).
  • Incredible number of Stage 1 sponsors in San Diego!
  • Valet bike parking: Blind Stokers Club will be providing secure Bike Valet for cyclists riding bikes to Stage 1 start and finish venues on Mission Bay. 
  • Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish
San Diego start of Stage 1 Amgen Tour of California 2016
San Diego start of Stage 1 ATOC 2016 - at Sea World Mission Bay
Stage 2 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 1 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California

Stage 2 - South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, May 16, 2016 Stage 2 will begin in first-time Host City South Pasadena, with much of the race contested in the Angeles National Forest. King of the Mountain (KOM) points in the Angeles National Forest including Highway 2, Big Tujunga and Little Tujunga Canyon. Stage 2 will be a sprinter's finish.
  • Day: Monday, May 16, 2016
  • Stage Start: South Pasadena at 12:05 PM
  • Start Location: Mission Street in South Pasadena
  • Finish Location: near Lyons Ave and Railroad Ave/Pine St
  • Stage Finish: Santa Clarita at 3:46 PM*
  • Traffic updates in Santa Clarita: Stage 2 in Santa Clarita
  • Miles: 92 mi
  • Kilometers: 148 km
  • Elevation Gain: 11,300 ft
  • Stage 2 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Oro Vista Avenue, 2) Placentia Canyon Road
  • KOM locations: 1) Highway 2, 2) Big Tujunga, 3) Little Tujunga Canyon 
  • City websites: South Pasadena, Santa Clarita ATOC
  • Road closures in Santa Clarita for Stage 2: Santa Clarita traffic and closures  
  • Start line VIP Hours : 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Finish line VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours at finish: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish, wide, flat finish in downtown Newhall.
Stage 2 start in Pasadena Amgen Tour of California  2016
Stage 2 start in Pasadena ATOC 2016. Stage 2 starts on Mission Street in South Pasadena
Stage 2 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 2 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California
Finish Santa Clarita Tour of California
Finish in Santa Clarita, Tour of California

Stage 3 - Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County, May 17, 2016 Thousand Oaks is home to biotechnology company Amgen, the race's title sponsor since its inception. The day will conclude with a thrilling, first-time mountaintop finish at Gibraltar Road. Stage 3 will be a breakaway climber's finish. This stage is a new and exciting route in the history of the Tour of California.
  • Day: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
  • Mountain Top Finish
  • Stage Start: Thousand Oaks at 11:10 AM
  • Start location: Rancho Conjeo Blvd and Ventu Park Rd.  
  • Neutral start
  • 2 laps: two neutral laps near the start area before the race begins at Km 0
  • Stage Finish: Santa Barbara County (Gibraltar Road) KOM at 3:48 PM*
  • Miles: 104.1 mi
  • Kilometers: 167.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 8,700 ft
  • Stage 3 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Port Hueneme, 2) Carpinteria
  • KOM locations: 1) Potroro Road, 2) Westlake Blvd, 3) Casitas Pass Road, 4) Gibraltar Road Finish (8% average grade)! 
  • City websites: Santa Barbara ATOC, 
  • Start line VIP Hours : 9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
  • Finish line VIP Hours: 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours at finish: 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Expected Outcome: Select group of 2-4 riders
Start Thousand Oaks Amgen Tour of California
Start Thousand Oaks Amgen Tour of California
Stage 3 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 3 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California

Stage 4 - Morro Bay to Monterey County, May 18, 2016 Racing on Highway 1 south to north, the riveting and technical race day conclusion will be at a venue known for speed - the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, host to auto and motorcycle racing. This will be the first time the peloton of the Tour of California will ride up Highway 1 in a south to north direction. Monterey is one of the most visited locations in California.
  • Day: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Racetrack finish
  • Stage Start: Morro Bay at 10:10 AM
  • Depart: riders will depart from the base of Morro Rock, precede along the Embarcadero, turn left on Pacific Street through downtown and make a left on Main Street, up to Yerba Buena to join Highway 1. 
  • The peloton will race along the majestic Highway 1 along the California coast. From Morro Rock to San Simeon, past Hearst Castle, through Big Sur, over the famed Bixby Bridge, past Carmel-by-the Sea, and ending in Monterey County at Laguna Seca.
  • Start location: 1300 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA, 93442
  • Stage Finish: Monterey County at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at 3:43 PM*
  • Miles: 133.6 mi
  • Kilometers: 215 km
  • Elevation Gain: 8,100 ft
  • Stage 4 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Hearst Castle, 2) Carmel Highlands
  • KOM locations: 1) Pacific Highway 1 Summit #1, 2) Pacific Highway 1 Summit #2, 3) Laurales Grade Summit, 4) Mazda Raceway Summit
  • City websites: visit morrobay.org, Morro Bay ATOC,
  • Start line VIP Hours : 8:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Finish line VIP Hours: 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours near finish: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Expected outcome: Select group finish
Map of start in Morro Bay 2016 Amgen Tour of California
Map of start in Morro Bay 2016 ATOC
Stage 4 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 4 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California
Finish at Laguna Seca Speedway, Stage 4 ATOC 0216 Amgen Tour of California
Finish at Laguna Seca Speedway, Stage 4 ATOC 0216

Stage 5 - Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, May 19, 2016 From here out, the four-day women's race will run in conjunction with the men's, including the same start and finish cities except for this day, when the women begin and end in South Lake Tahoe. Featuring a long day of climbing, the stage will reach the highest elevation ever mounted by the race: 8,600 feet.
  • Day: Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • Men's Stage Start: Lodi at 10:00 AM
  • Men's Stage Finish: South Lake Tahoe at 3:46 PM*
  • Women's Stage Finish: South Lake Tahoe at 2:00 PM
  • Miles: 132.4 mi
  • Kilometers: 213 km
  • Elevation Gain: 13,300 ft
  • Stage 5 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Sutter Hill, 2) Luther Pass
  • KOM locations: 1) Kirkwood, 2) Carson Pass, 3) last climb to Ski Run Boulevard to Heavenly Ski Area
  • City websites: Visit South Lake Tahoe, Visit Lodi, Lodi Amgen Tour of California Site
  • Start line VIP Hours : 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Finish line VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours at finish: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Expected Outcome: Select group finish
Start of Stage 5 in Lodi Tour of California
Start of Stage 5 in Lodi Tour of California
Stage 5 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 5 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California

Stage 6 - Folsom Individual Time Trial & Women's Team Time Trial, May 20, 2016 The men's individual time trial returns to Folsom where Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins dominated en route to his 2014 overall Amgen Tour of California victory. The women will compete in a team time trial on the same course.
  • Day: Friday, May 20, 2016
  • Time Trial: Folsom
  • Men's Start Time: 1:04 PM
  • Men's Estimated Finish: 3:45 PM*
  • Start ramp and Finish line are not in the same exact location.
  • Start location of Sutter St., Finish line on Leidesdorff St.
  • Miles: 12.6 mi
  • Kilometers: 20.3 km
  • Elevation: 800 ft
  • Stage 6 Map Link
  • Sprint & KOM: No sprint or KOM points awarded during an ITT. The green and polka-dot jerseys after Stage 5 in Lake Tahoe will be worn at the start of Stage 7 in Santa Rosa.  
  • City website: Folsom ATOC site, Visit Folsom
  • Folsom road closures and parking for Tour of California time trial 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
  • VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours near start / finish: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Expected Outcome: Wide roads and non-technical, rolling course favors pure time trial specialists.
Folsom start ramp and finish line area Amgen Tour of California
Folsom start ramp and finish line area
Stage 6 map of Time Trial Tour of California 2016
Stage 6 map of Time Trial Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California

Stage 7 - Santa Rosa, May 21, 2016 This year's stage will incorporate a portion of the uber popular Levi's GranFondo, with the men and women competing on different courses. The scenic penultimate stage rolls along country roads through vineyards, redwoods, coastline and forests.
  • Day: Saturday, May 21, 2016
  • "King stage"
  • Stage Start: Santa Rosa at 11:10 AM
  • Stage Finish: Santa Rosa at 3:45 PM*
  • 3 laps: the peloton will do 3 laps of the downtown circuit
  • Start and Finish is in the same location. 
  • Miles: 91.0 mi
  • Kilometers: 146.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 8,600 ft
  • Stage 7 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Cazadero, 2) Carmet Beach
  • KOM 4 locations: 1) King Ridge Road, 2) and 3) Pacific Coast Highway, 4) Coleman Valley Road (only Coleman Valley is shown on the map below). Today the winner of the KOM jersey will hold it for the overall King of the Mountain.
  • City websites: Santa Rosa ATOC, Visit Santa Rosa, 
  • Road closures for Santa Rosa Tour of California 
  • VIP Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Festival Hours near start / finish: 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Women's Race Start at 9:15 am
  • Women's Race Finish at 12:10 pm
  • Luther Burbank Rose Parade will take place while the peloton is out on course: 12:15-2:15 pm. Joan Lunden, breast cancer survivor, will be Grand Marshall of the parade in Santa Rosa, more information.
  • Breakaway Mile: Register for the Santa Rosa Breakaway Mile (prior to the men's race finish).
  • Expected Outcome: Select group finish
Santa Rosa downtown map Tour of California 2016
Santa Rosa downtown map ATOC 2016
Stage 7 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 7 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California
Stage 7 profile map - Santa Rosa
Stage 7 profile map - Santa Rosa


Stage 8 - Sacramento, May 22, 2016
As an 8-time host, Sacramento will host the grand finale of both the men's and women's races for the first time.
  • Day: Sunday, May 22, 2016
  • Final Stage
  • Stage Start: Sacramento at 11:55 AM
  • Stage Finish: Sacramento at 3:45 PM*
  • Neutral Start
  • 3 laps: the peloton will do 3 ceremonial laps of the downtown circuit before departing for the KM 0 marker where the real racing begins.
  • Start and Finish is in the same location. 
  • Miles: 84.8 mi
  • Kilometers: 136.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 600 ft
  • Stage 8 Map Link
  • Sprint locations: 1) Clarksburg, 2) finish line in downtown Sacramento
  • KOM locations:  No KOM points!
  • City websites: Visitors to Sacramento, Sacramento ATOC
  • VIP Hours: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Festival Hours near start / finish: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Breakaway Mile: Register for the Saramento Breakaway Mile (prior to the men's race finish).
  • Expected Outcome: Group sprint finish
Map of Sacramento Tour of California 2016
Map of Sacramento Tour of California 2016
Sacramento ATOC 2016 route map near start and finish
Sacramento start and finish area, final stage Tour of California
Stage 8 map of Tour of California 2016
Stage 8 map of Tour of California 2016. Map created by Amgen Tour of California
THE TEAMS

Teams were announced 03/01/2016, exact startlist of riders have not yet been announced.

10 UCI WorldTour Teams to compete in California By Pedal Dancer®

Fantastic news out of California today in proclaiming this race stronger than ever by presenting a very impressive line up of teams traveling from around the world to compete in California this May. Here is my strong tip for the day - wherever you are in mid-May, make sure it is in California. You will see great riders up close with unprecedented access (and as always - great weather).

10 WorldTour teams will compete at the 2016 Tour of California - the most in race history. 

Let's get straight to naming names: 2015 winner Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and runner-up Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick-Step) will return in 2016. Great Britian’s Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), who won four stages last year is a huge crowd favorite. 2012 Tour de France champion and 2014 Amgen Tour of California winner Bradley Wiggins will be back with his continental cycling team (Wiggins). Australian brothers Lachlan and Angus Morton will be back with their colorful Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis cycling team.

American Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) is happy to be competing in front of hometown fans in Northern California. While Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC), a strong contender for the time trial in Folsom, could also be on a step of the final overall podium in Sacramento. Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) will be bring his strong sprinting ability to what might be the best sprint field to ever gather.

Also look out for the recent 2016 USA Cycling National Criterium Title winner Brad Huff on the pro continental Rally Cycling team. Rally and United Healthcare teams will be bringing both a men's and women's team. Their team buses and mechanic's trailers should be teaming with activity.

Sprinting begins on Stage 1 in San Diego, Sunday, May 15th! Make your tourist plans now.

World Champion at Tour of California
Great atmosphere at the race. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Now organized by AEG and ASO, the Amgen Tour of California stage race keeps getting better! I am especially excited about the teams of Dimension Data (formerly Mtn-Quekbeka), Giant-Alpecin, Etixx-Quick-Step, Sky, and LottoNL returning to the race again this year. I am also excited to see first time teams Direct Énergie and Katusha.

I look forward to hearing the exact rider roster announcements in May.

For certain, we will have the opportunity to watch pro riders we would otherwise have to plan a 2.5 week vacation, spend thousands of dollars and travel to Europe to see compete. The 2016 schedule should make it easy to see a grouping of two or more stages by picking your area: San Diego County, Pasadena/Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks/Santa Barbara, Monterey/Santa Rosa, Tahoe/Folsom/Sacramento.

I completely agree with Peter Sagan who said, "The Amgen Tour of California is one of my favorite races of the season."

Julian Alaphilippe
Julian Alaphilippe arrives in Mt Baldy in 2015.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Take the time to visit the team websites and check out their sponsors and the kind of gear they use. Team sponsors, great race organization and the ongoing title sponsorship by Amgen make this race a continuing success.

Men’s teams - 18 teams
Each team will bring a roster of 8 riders each.

UCI WorldTour
BMC Racing Team (USA) - BMC bikes
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA) - Cannondale bikes
Dimension Data (South Africa) - Cervélo bikes
Etixx – Quick-Step (Belgium) - Specialized bikes
Giant – Alpecin (Germany) - Giant bikes
Katusha (Russia) - Canyon bikes
LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands) - Bianche bikes
Sky (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes
Tinkoff (Russia) - Specialized bikes
Trek-Segafredo (USA) - Trek bikes

UCI Professional Continental
Direct Énergie (France) - BH bikes
Novo Nordisk (USA) - Colnago bikes
United Healthcare (USA) - Wilier bikes

UCI Continental
Axeon Hagens Berman (USA) - Specialized bikes
Holowesko – Citadel Racing Team (USA) - felt bikes
Jelly Belly – Maxxis (USA) - Argon bikes
Rally Cycling (USA) - Diamond Back bikes
Wiggins (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes (Wikipedia)

Peter Sagan with Evelyn Stevens
Peter Sagan with Evelyn Stevens at the post time trial press conference in 2015.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Women’s teams - 18 teams

BePink (Italy) 
Boels-Dolmans (Netherlands)
Canyon – SRAM Racing (Germany)
Colavita – Bianchi (USA)
Cylance (USA)
Drops (Great Britain)
Hagens Berman – Supermint (USA)
Hitec Products (Norway)
Podium Ambition (Great Britain)
Rabo – Liv (Netherlands)
Rally (USA)
Tibco – SVB (USA)
Twenty16 – Ridebiker (USA)
UnitedHealthcare (USA)
USA Cycling (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA (USA)
Weber Shimano Ladies Power (Argentina)
Wiggle High5 (Great Britain)

Women's team jersey 2016 Amgen Tour of Califorrnia
Women's team jersey 2016 Amgen Tour of Califorrnia.
VIP PASSES and VIP Experiences

VIP EXPERIENCES AT THE TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

There are more options beyond the VIP passes to a start or finish. Consider these:

VIP Car Ride ($200-$500): Experience the crowd, the course, the energy and the excitement in an official race vehicle. Ride alongside the peloton for an entire stage of the race and get an up-close view of the riders in action in a way few have done before. Arrive at the finish ahead of the cyclists and watch them cross the finish line. Participants will receive an official Amgen Tour of California jersey.  Limited availability remains for select stages!

Time Trial Ride in Folsom on May 20, 2016 ($500): Opportunity to ride official Time Trial Circuit just hours before the pros take the course.

Jens Voigt Meet and Greet ($65 add-on) - Here's your chance to meet Jens Voigt during Race Week! The professional cycling legend and official 2016 Amgen Tour of California Ambassador will be hosting exclusive meet and greets for a limited amount of fans at select stages. Offer only available with purchase of VIP Hospitality in Santa Clarita or Monterey County (Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway). Complete this form.

Behind-The-Scenes ($500): Get a true behind-the-scenes look of all the action. Includes media compound tour, photograph taken on awards stage, and experience the finish of the race from an exclusive viewing area.

A particularly good deal is the VIP Hospitality Pass will be in San Deigo. Because the start line and finish line are not in the same place, therewill be VIP tents at the two different location. I was told by the VIP Experience salesperson that a purchase of the Finish VIP pass will get you into both places at the start and finish. Start VIP Hours will be from 10:00AM - 12:00 PM. Finish VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Buy VIP tickets

To purchase VIP Hospitality Passes to a start or finish. Hospitality VIP tent locations are neatly listed here or buy tickets. Prices range from $79, $179, $209.

To purchase a special behind the scenes VIP Experience: Follow this link and select more information to complete a form. A real person representative will discuss and explain all the options further.

PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS

BREAKAWAY MILE

Yes, most of us who have attended every Tour of California Lifestyle Festival think of those great free swag bags given out at the Breakaway tent, but the Breakaway group also organizes a ceremonial Breakaway Mile walk. Amgen invites those touched by cancer – patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates – to participate in the 2016 Breakaway Mile, an approximately half-mile walk that honors and celebrates cancer survivors as part of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer®, a national initiative founded in 2005 to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship.

This year citizens will have the opportunity to participate in the Breakaway Mile in three host cities: San Diego, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento. Register for the Breakaway Mile (which takes place prior to the men's race finish). Participants will receive special t-shirts to wear at the event and are invited to view the race action from a private reserved viewing area near the race finish line. Space is limited to the first 200 registrants.

Breakaway from Cancer walk
Join the Breakaway from Cancer walk. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®

L'ETAPE CALIFORNIA

L'Etape California 2016
Le Etape California Jerseys 2016
L'Etape California Jerseys 2016
Profile of Stage 3 up Gibralter Rd.
L'Etape California FAQs:
  • Date: Saturday, April 24, 2016
  • L'Etape Stage: Stage 3 (Queen Stage) of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California 
  • Location: Thousand Oaks up Gibralter Rd to La Cumbre Peak, return to Santa Barbara beachfront (point to point route)
  • Distance (2 distances): 89 or 105 miles
  • Start: San Dimas/Claremont
  • Start time: 7:30am 
  • Cut-off time at the bottom of Gibralter: 5:00pm 
  • Last Shuttle return to Thousand Oaks: 8:00pm
  • Schedule: time schedule of events for the day
  • Information/Event website: Read more here
  • Amgen Tour of California ambassador: Jens Voigt will be riding the event
  • Biggest Challenge: Gibralter climb 9.8km at 8%
  • Register: Register for L'Etape California
  • Registration Cost: $110-$140, + $35 return Shuttle Ride
  • Frequently asked questions about L'Etape
Le Etape California registration includes:

- T-shirt!
- Food/Hydration/Mechanical Support every 20 miles (food stops on route)
- Exclusive ride through the Amgen Tour of California Finish (not open to the public)
- Complimentary photography
- Timed Gibralter climb and awards
- Post-ride meal at the beach
- Bag transport to the finish

PEDAL DANCER

BLOG POSTS BY PEDAL DANCER®

I have attended the Tour of California 10 out of 11 years. Which year did I miss? The year Mario Cipollini came to California (big mistake to miss that year!). I have covered the Tour of California as a member of the Media brigade since 2011. Not sure if that has been a mistake or not. I spend hundreds of hours researching, trying to dig up details, tips and recommendations for fans. I do the majority of my work before the race begins and look for fun stories and great photographs (to use for the next year's coverage) at the race.

If you see me at the race this year, please say hi, typically I am running all over the place and have not lost my wanderlust or fascination with the people who race and those who make the Tour of California a continuing success, including the fans. (About me).

2016 posts by Pedal Dancer®:
Related Previous Posts by Pedal Dancer:
California Tourist Map
Be a tourist in California. It is a 9-hour drive from San Diego to San Francisco. VisitCalifornia.com regional map

TIPS FOR FANS

STORIES OF INTEREST at the 2016 Tour of California

Did you know that Jelly Belly Racing Team has been together for seventeen years and is the only Pro Team based near San Diego, California, in San Marcus. Read more.

Peter Sagan, the current Slovakian National Champion and current World Champion Road, will sign a new team contract next year and is reported to be seeking a salary of over 6 million. Considering that the entire Jelly Belly team operates under a budget of 1.5 million (and gives out free jelly beans), that is a lot of money for riding a bike. In the words of Bob Roll, "Is he worth it? I think he is absolutely worth it. He is the best thing that has happened to professional cycling in a long while. He is a phenomenal rider." Peter Sagan will wear bib #1 this year as he won the Amgen Tour of California in 2015.

Legendary basketball player Bill Walton is a familiar face at the Tour of California. He loves riding a bike. Read more Bill Walton Is All About the Bike, By Jason Gay at The Wall Street Journal.

You might notice some changes in team names this year. Holowesko-Citadel is the old team Hincapie Racing. Rally is the old Optum. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is the old MTN-Qhubeka. Direct Énergie is the old Europcar team. Axeon Hagens Berman cycling team morphed out of Bissell Development Team. Note that the names have changed but not every sponsor or rider on these new teams is the same.

Did you know Taylor Phinney (BMC) is also an artist? And you have a chance to win a BMC bike custom painted by Taylor, enter bike contest on VeloNews. You might have known that Taylor's dad Davis Phinney works with the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's, did you know Taylor's mom Connie Carpenter is also a former Olympian cyclist and speed-skater, and a race stage announcer for women's pro cycling? Taylor's painted bikes look a bit like a Dario Pegoretti bike, read: A handmade Pegoretti bike, By Pedal Dancer®.

Spectators at the women's race in northern California, are up for a real treat in watching Great Britain racer Lizzie Armistead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team). Cycling News reports that Armistead is indeed heading to California to race. US road champion Megan Guarnier, women's UCI Hour Record holder Evelyn Stevens, and two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong will also compete in the women's race.

We actually have another Host City for the Tour of California this year that should be acknowledged and appreciated - Modesto. Teams will be staying in hotels in Modesto between Stages 4 and 5 on May 18th. According to Lodinews.com, Modesto City Council voted to enter into an agreement (that agreement equalling a $75,000 cost in hotels and restaurants for teams and staff) with Amgen to host the riders over the one night, having finished the stage in Monterey, the teams will then travel to Lodi the next morning for the stage start.

The Directeur Sportif for the Axeon Hagens Berman (USA) team is Jonkheer ("The Honourable") Axel Merckx, son of Eddy Merckx who has been made a baron in Belgium. The team's bike sponsor is not Merckx bikes, instead they race on Specialized bikes. Keep your eyes open at the race because Eddy Merckx has been known to visit, looking like any other fan in the crowd. I have returned home to look through photographs only to realize "What, I was standing next to Eddy Merckx!"

Stage 1 start time is 11:30 AM (the San Diego Local Organizing Committee has wrongly printed the start time as 10:30 am, this is incorrect). As at every other UCI race, riders must sign-in on the sign-in stage at least one hour before the stage start. There is also a customary singing of the national anthem before the start; these proceedings are not considered the official race start. The start time is solid, affecting road closures and TV coverage.

While many America pros are now living in Girona, Spain, or Nice, France - Dutch pro rider Laurens ten Dam (Giant-Alepcin team) now lives in Santa Cruz, CA with his family.

Tourism is real business. Host cities pay large sums to Amgen Tour of California to host a stage start or finish. Their motivation is to increase tourism by being seen on TV and by boosting visitors on race day and subsequent returns. Lodinews.com reports encouraging statistics overall from 2015, "Lodi Wine and Visitors Center has seen a 21 percent uptick in walk-in customers, and the number of visitors to the Visit Lodi webpage have increased by 163 percent. Hotels are reporting as high as 85 to 92 percent occupancy rates."

Team Novo-Nordisk deserves your attention, they are not only a team sponsored by a manufacture of medications for diabetes, they are a team of riders who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Not only inspirational but education for young athletes trying to understand the potential of their disease and being an elite athlete. Read more in an interview out of the U.K.: Former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Joe Eldridge discusses his type 1 diabetes management.

Not only did Jens Voigt participate in this year's L'Etape California, the day when amateur cyclists took on Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California (from Thousand Oaks up Gibralter Rd to La Cumbre Peak in Santa Barbara), but you are guaranteed to meet and get a signed autograph from Jens during two Meet and Greets with a limited number of fans, in conjunction with V.I.P. Passes purchased in Santa Clarita or Monterey by paying $65 extra for a 1-on-1 with Jens. Go to this page select more info to ask about meeting Jensie. Or complete this form.

This year citizens who are cancer survivors, caretakers or those affected by the disease will have the opportunity to participate in the Breakaway Mile (walk) in three host cities: San Diego, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento. Register for the Breakaway Mile.

In this old piece on Bike Forums, Eric Smith, now Race Technical Director for Amgen Tour of California, Eric explains the process for creating the race route well in advance. Tour of CA "How-To" by Eric Smith.

There are some firsts for the 2016 version of the Tour of California. This will be the first time the race has finish up Gibralter Rd to La Cumbre Peak in Santa Barbara, the first time Morro Bay has hosted a stage start, and the first time the race has ridden on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey County. This will also be the longest distance (almost 800 miles) covered in the race with the most climbing (about 65,000ft).

Sponsors: According the the bike blog The Inner Ring, Katusha's team name "is an abbreviated version of Ekaterina, Catherine in English and a famous Soviet wartime folk song in Russia."They are also the only ProTour team at the Tour of California to be using SRAM components. Did you know Segafredo is one company making up the MZB group based in Italy, the group is the world's largest coffee producers (they also make coffee makers). Did you know team Tinkoff gets it's name from Oleg Tinkoff who built his business brewing upscale beers for young professionals in Russia. Did you know the South African team Dimension Data is also sponsored by Deloitte, based in New York City, the company is the largest international professional services network in the world by revenue, and I am grateful they like cycling.

The city and county of San Diego have gone all out as the start host city for the 2016 Amgen Tour of California. Engaging businesses and local community support, they have many pre-race and Stage 1 activities planned for locals and visitors, including a celebration for the team presentation. More information (some inaccurate, but with good intention): San Diego ATOC.

The annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade will take place in Santa Rosa from 12:15-2:15 p.m., on the same day as Stage 7, while the peloton is out on course.. Joan Lunden, a breast cancer survivor, will be Grand Marshall of the parade in Santa Rosa, more information.

A particularly good deal is the VIP Hospitality Pass in San Deigo. The start line and finish line are not in the same place, but there will be VIP tents at both location. I was told by the VIP Experience salesperson that a purchase of the Finish VIP pass in San Diego will get you into both places at the start and finish. Start VIP Hours will be from 10:00AM - 12:00 PM. Finish VIP Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Stage 7 in Santa Rosa will be another long day in the comfort of the VIP tent. Buy VIP tickets. 

This year, Stage 3 up Gibralter Road to the KOM on at La Cumbre Peak is the Queen Stage. Stage 7 in Santa Rosa is calling itself the King Stage, but is also the Penulitimate stage.

Laurens ten Dam
Dutch rider Laurens ten Dam, now lives in Santa Cruz, Ca. He is one of my favorites now rides with Giant-Alpecin. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
GETTING RIDER AUTOGRAPHS

Tips on getting an autograph from your favorite rider at the race.
  • Always bring two or three thick black sharpie pens, in case your loose one!
  • Have ready what you want the rider to sign.
  • Ask, "May I have your autograph please?" Don't be shy, but be polite.
  • Say thank you or wish them good luck.
  • Once the team rosters (startlist) is released, go to each team's website and study the face of each rider coming to California. Get to know who will be there so you can better recognize the rider.
  • It is also helpful to keep a printed startlist in your pocket. Each rider wears a number (bib) on their jersey and on their bike, these numbers can help you distinguish a rider when they are in similar team kits and wearing sunglasses.
  • Also study the special national championship jerseys and the rainbow world champion jersey (Peter Sagan) for easy identification.
Best places to get an autograph:
  • Buy a ticket to the team presentation in San Diego and try to locate the team and rider when they arrive, before they go backstage. Or wait until they exit the stage, or are standing around after being presented, before the team departs.
  • Attend a stage start. 1.5 hours before the start, some riders will arrive in the back seat of team cars, then exit the car and walk onto the team bus, this is a good opportunity for a signature or photo.
  • Attend a stage start. Arrive at least 1.5 hours before the scheduled start of the stage and wait by the team bus for the rider to exit, get his bike and roll to the sign-in stage (near the start line). Some riders prefer to sign in early and will sign-in and return to the bus, giving you three opportunities for a signature.
  • Line up in "Autograph Alley", the area just before and just after the stage steps to sign-in.  You never know which directions riders will go on stage (especially as they get more focused on signing in and getting to the start line). In Autograph Alley have your pen and your item you want ready to go. The riders will come down the line and sign several in a row.
  • The top riders always sign-in last, typically leaving the team bus once, and quite late before the start. However these same top riders may step outside for media interviews (good photo ops). Be aware that the team gathers for pre stage strategy planning inside the bus where not much movement will happen for 30-minutes or so.
  • Attend a stage start. Arrive at least 1-hour before and find a place along the barrier, very near to the steps up (or down) from the sign-in stage where each rider must sign-in 1 hour before the stage start.
  • Attend a Time Trial and ask for a rider's signature when he/she is getting in or out of his/her team bus. You can take pictures of them while they warm up or down on their spinners outside the team buses, but they will not sign autographs while they are on their bikes. The warm-up is important to their performance.
  • At a stage finish, the 3 top stage finishers and the fours overall leaders in each jersey classification will appear on the podium after the stage is over. Podium presentations are 15 minutes after the stage start. They might be in too much of a rush to get to the podium presentation (they can be fined if they are late) but you might be able to catch the rider after he steps off the podium.
  • I always think about how and where the rider will exit or enter a place and put myself in that spot.
  • You might be lucky and happen upon a rider outside their hotel, at a coffee shop, or see them out training on the roads.
*Please do not ask for a rider's signature when they are waiting in the roped off area behind the time trial start ramp. This is a quiet area where the rider's are preparing for their individual time trial.


TEAM JERSEYS

Eighteen men's teams will compete in the 2016 Amgen Tour of California. These are the jerseys to recognize out on the road:

Men's Teams Jerseys of the Tour of California 2016:

UCI WorldTour

BMC Racing Team (USA) - BMC bikes

BMC jersey. Photo via @BMCProTeam
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA) - Cannondale bikes

Cannondale jersey. Photo via @Ride_Argyle
Dimension Data (South Africa) - Cervélo bikes

Dimension Data jersey. Photo via @TeamDiData
Etixx – Quick-Step (Belgium) - Specialized bikes

Etixx-Quickstep jersey. Photo via @Etixx_QuickStep
Giant – Alpecin (Germany) - Giant bikes

Giant-Alpecin jersey. Photo via @GiantAlpecin
Katusha (Russia) - Canyon bikes

Katusha jerseys. Photo via @katushacycling
LottoNL- Jumbo (Netherlands) - Bianche bikes

Lotto Jumbo jersey. @LottoJumbo_road
Sky (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes

Team SKY jersey. Photo via @TeamSky
Tinkoff (Russia) - Specialized bikes

Tonkoff jersey.  Photo via @tinkoff_team
Trek – Segafredo (USA) - Trek bikes

Trek Segafredo jersey. Photo via @TrekSegafredo taken by fan Dan Hartley. 
CI Professional Continental
Direct Énergie (France) - BH bikes

Direct Energie jersey. Photo via @TeamDEN_fr
Novo Nordisk (USA) - Colnago bikes

Novo Nordisk jersey. Photo via @teamnovonordisk
UnitedHealthcare (USA) - Wilier bikes

United Healthcare jersey. Photo via @UHCprocycling

UCI Continental

Axeon Hagens Berman (USA) - Specialized bikes

Axeon Hagens Berman jersey. Photo via @axeonhb
Holowesko – Citadel Racing Team (USA) - felt bikes

Holowesko-Citadel jersey. Photo via @TeamHincapie
Jelly Belly – Maxxis (USA) - Argon bikes

Jelly Belly jersey. Photo via @JellyBellyTeam
Rally Cycling (USA) - Diamond Back bikes

Rally jersey. Photo via @Rally_Cycling
Wiggins (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes (Wikipedia)

Wiggins jersey. Photo via @OfficialWIGGINS
CLASSIFICATION JERSEYS

Classification Jerseys for the Amgen Tour of California 2016 are awarded for best type of rider in a field. This year the Tour of California will feature 4 classifications: Leader (fastest overall time, yellow jersey); Mountain (climber, red polka dot jersey); Sprint (fastest sprinter, green jersey); Best Young Rider (under age 25, white jersey); Most Aggressive (most combative/competitive, blue Breakaway from Cancer jersey). As the stage race progresses the overall classification winner is presented with his jersey after each stage and will wear the jersey at the start of the next day's stage.

Classification jerseys of the Tour of California
Classification jerseys of the Tour of California 2016: Leader, Sprinter, Climber, Young, Courageous.
WHO WILL WIN?

The start list of riders for the Tour of California should be announced in two weeks.

The caliber of riders in 2016 will be very high. This is going to be an exciting race in all categories as well as the overall race win. Race Organizers (AEG) and Race Technical Director Eric Smith were challenged this year by ASO to create a stellar route and race and I believe they have done so.

Who will wear yellow in 2016?

That is the great unknown, but I am looking at Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) who won the race in 2015, Rohan Dennis (BMC), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale), Laurens ten Dam (Giant-Alpecin), or possible past winners Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) or Bradley Wiggins (Team Wiggins).

American Peter Stetina is leading the Trek-Segafreda team, and crowd favorite (and social media wizard) American Taylor Phinney (BMC) will be back to animate the race in 2016. I am particularly looking forward to seeing how Lawson Craddock (Cannondale) performs.

Who will wear green in 2016?

The race for the green jersey (points classification) will be very interesting this year and hotly contested. Watch out for Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Brad Huff (Rally), Rob Britton (Rally), Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel), Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data), Wouter Wippert (Cannondale), Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel), John Murphy (UHC) and many others once we know the true startlist.

Who will wear the King of the Mountains jersey in 2016?

Possibly Toms Skujiņ (Cannondale), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep), Alex Braico or Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly).

Who will be the Best Young Rider in 2016:

Keep your eye on Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman) recent winner of the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) winner of the white jersey at the 2015 ATOC, Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale), Toms Skujiņš (Cannondale), Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel), Danny van Poppel (SKY), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafreda), and Jon Dibben (Team Wiggins) who recently won the U23 Tour of Flanders.

World Champion
World Champion. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
PRIORITY OF JERSEYS

Peter Sagan won the Tour of California last year and will be returning to the ATOC again in 2016. Peter Sagan is also the current World Champion and wears the rainbow striped jersey in every road race. Peter is also the current Slovakian National Road Champion and Time Trial Champion (he's had a good year). At the start of Stage 1, Peter will be wearing his rainbow jersey at the start line.

What if Peter Sagan wins Stage 1 in San Diego, will Peter wear the Amgen yellow leaders jersey or will he wear his rainbow jersey? UCI rules state that the race leaders jersey trumps the rainbow jersey, so at the Tour of California, Peter will wear the yellow leaders jersey on the road, or the green sprinters jersey, if he earns either of those jerseys after any stage of the race.

Otherwise we will see Peter Sagan in his white and rainbow striped jersey (which is equally thrilling). However, when Peter steps onto the start ramp at the Folsom time trial, don't be surprised if you see him in his Slovakian National skinsuit. Unless he is in the lead and will wear the leaders yellow or the sprinters green jersey. Then his skinsuit will be yellow or green respectively.

BMC Racing Team's jersey show that they are current World Champions Team Time Trial
What if Peter is ahead in both the overall (yellow) classification and the sprinter (green) classification - which jersey will he wear?

According to UCI rules there is a specific order of priority of jerseys. The classification jerseys take precedence in order of yellow, green, polka-dot, white. If a rider is already in a more prominent jersey and has earned one or more other jerseys, he will be awarded with all his jerseys on the podium, but will wear the more prominent jersey at the start of the next stage. His other jersey would go to the second-place rider in that specific jersey classification, who would wear the jersey the next day during the race. Because a rider can only wear one jersey at a time, and because every race organizer wants to have all five jerseys be seen during each stage of the race. 

Should various provisions requiring the wearing of different jerseys apply to the same rider, the order of priority shall be as follows:
1. the leader’s jersey of the stage race (yellow)
2. the leader’s jersey of the cup, series, or UCI classification
3. the world champion’s jersey
4. the continental champion’s jersey
5. the national champion’s jersey
6. the national jersey

In summary the World Champion jersey trumps any National Champion jersey, but the World Championship jersey is trumped by the race classification jerseys. Peter Sagan is serious about defending his overall race leaders jersey again this year. I am looking for Peter to be wearing yellow.

JERSEYS AT TIME TRIALS

Because World Championships are awarded in road racing, individual time trial and team time trial, each jersey must, and can only, be worn during the specific cycling discipline.

The current winner of the World Champion Time Trial, Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) racing on Team SKY), must wear the time trial skinsuit during every TT competition for a year following his win. Peter Sagan, the current Road Champion, cannot wear the rainbow striped jersey during any time trial stage.

All riders who have earned a National Championship Time Trial may wear their national colors skinsuit during the time trial.

The current Team World Time Trial Champions, BMC Racing Team, wear a small UCI rainbow emblem on the front of their jerseys year round, during both road and ITT or TTT stages.

Time trial stages do not award sprint or KOM points. The green and polka-dot jerseys earned by a rider after Stage 5, in this year's Tour of California, will be worn at the start of Stage 7 in Santa Rosa.

Yes, all classification jerseys are worn during the time trial (with special skinsuits often made for the riders).

Riccardo Zoidl of Trek
Riccardo Zoidl of Trek - showing he was the 1st rider on the 5th team at ATOC in 0215. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
BIB NUMBERS

There is a meaning to the bib numbers (dossards) worn by each rider on a team: read more about the bib number at Word of the Day: Dossard, By Pedal Dancer.

WHO WILL WEAR BIB #1 IN 2016?

It is tradition that the previous year's overall stage winner, if returning to the race in the current year, wear the #1 jersey. His team being recognized as the first team, thus wear #1-8. The other teams are ordered according to race organizers preference, eighteen teams total with eight riders each. At the Tour of California, as is usual, you will see the WorldTour teams listed before the Pro Continental or Continental teams, wearing lower bib numbers.

The 2016 startlist should be announced in one week.

Pinarello bikes of Team Sky
Pinarello bikes of Team Sky. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER

Active tweet people, riders and teams on Twitter during the Tour of California race:

Tour of California: @AmgenTOC
ATOC San Diego: @sdtocloc
Phil Liggett: @PhilLiggett
Paul Sherwen: @PaulSherwen
Christian Vande Velde: @ChristianVDV
Peter Sagan: @petosagan
Mark Cavendish: @MarkCavendish
Rohan Dennis: @RohanDennis
Taylor Phinney: @taylorphinney
Dimension Data: @TeamDiData
Orica GreenEdge: @ORICA_GreenEDGE
BMC: @BMCProTeam
Trek-Segafredo: @TrekSegafredo
Axeon Hagens Berman: @axeonhb
Rally Cycling: @Rally_Cycling
UHC: @UHCprocycling
Novo Norkisk: @teamnovonordisk
Wiggins: @OfficialWIGGINS
Etixx-Quickstep: @Etixx_QuickStep
Cannondale: @Ride_Argyle
Oran Kelly (Photographer): @Eibhir
Darrell Parks (Photographer): @darrellparks
Brian Hodes (Photographer, Veloimages): @veloimages
Kim Hull (Photographer Cycling Perspective): @KimberliHull
Neal Rogers: @nealrogers
Global Cycling Network: @gcntweet
Bike Radar: @bikeradar
CyclingNews: @Cyclingnewsfeed
VeloNews: @velonews
Steephill: @steephill
Race Radio: @TheRaceRadio
Manual for Speed: @manualforspeed
Broom Wagon Sarah: @broomwagon
Pedal Dancer: @karenrake

GCN's Neal Rogers. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
BIKES AND EQUIPMENT

See a photo collection of Team jerseys and team bikes at the Tour of California, By Pedal Dancer®.

Equipment on the bike and on the rider:
  • BMC Racing Team (USA) - BMC bikes, Shimano, Mavic, Garmin, FSA, Rock Tape, fi’zi:k. Pearl Izumi clothing, Giro helmets, Oakley glasses.
  • Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA) - Cannondale bikes, Shimano, Mavic, Garmin, FSA, Rock Tape, fi’zi:k. Castelli clothing, POC helmets and glasses.
  • Dimension Data (South Africa) - Cervélo bikes, Roto Uno / Shimano, ENVE, Continental, fi’zi:k, Speedplay, Rotor, Lizard Skins. Met helmets, Oakley glasses.
  • Etixx – Quick-Step (Belgium) - Specialized bikes, Shimano, HED, Rovel, FSA. Vermarc clothing, Specialized helmet and glasses.
  • Giant – Alpecin (Germany) - Giant bikes, Shimano, Vittoria, Pro, Pioneer, Polar.  Exteondo clothing, Giant helmets, Oakley glasses.
  • Katusha (Russia) - Canyon bikes, SRAM, Zipp, Quarq. Katusha clothing, Giro helmets.
  • LottoNL – Jumbo (Netherlands) - Bianche bikes, Shimano, FSA, Selle San Marco, Vittoria. SMS Santini clothing, Bell helmets, New Balance apparel.
  • Sky (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes, Shimano, PRO, Stages, fi’zi:k. Rapha clothing, Kask helmets, Oakley glasses, Asics apparel.
  • Tinkoff (Russia) - Specialized bikes, Shimano, FSA, Roval, HED, Look, Prologo, SRM. Sportful clothing, Oakley glasses.
  • Trek – Segafredo (USA) - Trek bikes, Shimano, Bontrager, SRM. Bontrager helmets, Oakley glasses.
Did you know Segafredo is one company making up the MZB group based in Italy, they are the world's largest coffee producers.

Did you know team Tinkoff gets it's name from Oleg Tinkoff who built his business brewing upscale beers for young professionals in Russia.

Did you know the South African team Dimension Data is also sponsored by Deloitte, based in New York City, the company is the largest international professional services network in the world by revenue, and they must like cycling.

Recommended reading:
yellow skinsuit for the time trial stage ATOC
The current race leader gets a special yellow skinsuit for the time trial stage. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
THE TIME TRIAL

Tips on viewing a time trial

About the Individual Time Trial
  • Most of the riders will begin in 1-minute intervals, with the final riders beginning three minutes apart.
  • The starting order of riders for the men's race will be the reverse of the overall GC standings from the day before. The starting order (with racer, team and bib #) will be published the evening before the time trial.
  • Race organizers expect speeds estimated to be between 26 and 30 mph for the ITT.
  • The team buses will be located near the start area where you can see the riders warming up on their bike trainers pre race. Lots of fun to cruise the buses to see your favorite riders warming up or cooling down.
  • The entire course will be fully closed to traffic. There will be designated pedestrian crossing points manned by volunteers who will open the crossing only when safe.
  • Jumbo-tron screens will also be available in the Village and Lifestyle Expo areas to watch the race.
  • The Expo and Beer Garden will be located in the expo area.
  • Fans will be able to walk back and forth between the start and finish.
Peter Sagan time trial
Peter Sagan rolls down the ramp to begin his race against the clock in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Time trial stages do not award sprint or KOM points. The green and polka-dot jerseys earned by a rider after Stage 5, in this year's Tour of California, will be worn at the start of Stage 7 in Santa Rosa. Yes, all classification jerseys are worn during the time trial (with special skinsuits often made for the riders).

How I like to see a time trial:
  • I print off the start list the night before so I can tell which rider is coming next (It will also be available for view on your phone on Tour Tracker app).
  • I arrive early.
  • I always park where it will be easiest to exit/leave after the race. Parking should be most convenient for leaving the event, not for arriving at the event.
  • I like to get their early so I can easily walk around and find all key locations. Where is the start ramp, the team buses, the finish line, the podium, and how can I easily get back and forth between these places.
  • Next I take the time to grab a local coffee or snack. I people watch and soak in the atmosphere.
  • I look at the course ahead of time to decide which side or corners will afford me good photos.
  • I like to stop by the team buses to see the mechanics line up the bikes for the riders and check out the equipment each team will be using.
  • I will watch from the barriers or meander through the Expo for the first group of riders. Chances are, the best time trial riders will be in the middle of the start list or the last of the list. By the middle of the pack, I want to be at the team buses to watch these key riders warm up. Then I might be at the start ramp to sense their nervousness and see them take off. By the last 10 riders, I want to be near the finish where I can watch the times; and near the podium.
  • Time Trials are usually not the best day to talk to riders or seek autographs due to the serious preparation before the race and the fast exit after each rider's race. Once a rider races, he is whisked away to begin his recovery process for the next day. The individual riders will ride in team cars, or ride their bikes, to their hotels or will retreat inside their team buses immediately after their time trial race.
  • The Podium presentations takes place immediately after the finish of the race and only lasts about 20 minutes. If you can, make your way to the podium to see the celebration. The podium is typically near the finish.
Alison Steinkamp
Allison Steinkamp has helped riders sign-in as a podium girl for many years.©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
TIPS ON PHOTOGRAPHY

Over the years my race photography has improved with a lot of practice. What I have learned is that great photos are more about the eye and the opportunity than the equipment. When it comes to equipment I use it all from an iphone, to a compact Sony camera, to my large Pentax with numerous lenses.

I like getting the unusual shot, taking closeup (zoom), and capturing a moment between fans, riders, coaches, reactions, exhaustion, excitement. Go broad to capture the mood, but zoom in to capture human subjects.

My biggest tip is to see the race with your own eyes. Get as many photos as you can of yourself and your family and friends at the race. Take a sweeping video of you enjoying the scene at the race. And share those on social media. But when the race actually comes, put down the camera and WATCH IT. Tom Boonen or Peter Sagan might only pass you once and you will miss looking into their faces if you are looking into your camera.

It also pays to know how to move around at a bike race and I often arrive early to map out how to get to and from different key areas of the race. Good shots can be gotten near the teams buses, near the sign-in stage before the start, at time trials, or in the area just past the finish line where riders stop to meet their soigneurs post race. Or out of the road at KOM markers where the riders slow down slightly at the passes and the atmosphere is fun.

RACE ORGANIZERS

What do race organizers do?

Basically race organizers coordinate needs of the teams, staff and some volunteers. Represented by the Tour Operations Director, the race organizers coordinate with contracted hotels for all requirements (rooms, meals, auxiliary space). Secure housing/rates for additional (paid) housing groups (media, tourists). Assist with housing assignments, check-in/out dates for Tour entourage. Serve as a liaison with the Tour’s official race hotels and each host city sub-committees. Assist with transportation needs of local key race volunteers, team staff, riders, etc.

Who are the Race Directors of the Amgen Tour of California: AEG.

HOST CITIES

What do Host Cities do?

They behave like a true host providing a safe place for riders and spectators. Host Cities provide up to 80 hotel rooms for organizers and riders. They also plan and provide security, police, manage street closures, hold all permits required, provide restrooms, and meals at various times and locations. They often create separate website for promotion, print advertising, banners, and work diligently in the community to create citizen participation with varying pre race events. On race day, they want their city to shine on international TV coverage to encourage tourism and growth in local business.

Host Cities must provide adequate space, resources and services to Amgen Tour of California in addition to paying set amounts depending on what type of stage they are hosting. This year even Modesto had to cover costs and they only plan to house the riders for 1 night. Funds are gathered from City funds (tax-payer dollars), local tourist organizations (non-profit), local businesses through sponsorship and possibly ticket sales from special events (not VIP passes). Host Cities expect race day visitors, repeat visitors and long-term tourism growth.

FAN EDUCATION

How to read a Stage Log (time table):


The start time is always definite. Every street and turn along the route is listed. Because the organizers of the race are not certain how fast the riders will be racing, they give several approximations of times based on average speed of a rider. The first column lists the slowest possible time at 22 mph for this stage, (speeds will vary based on flat or climbing stages). Column 2, 3, and 4 list other faster times according to increasing speeds. As fans it is best to be there by at least the fastest time listed on the log, but not to expect the riders until the slowest time listed in column 1 of the log. This insures that you will not miss seeing the race. Try to arrive much earlier to enjoy the atmosphere and avoid traffic, and pay attention to road closures.

Fun education about cycling by Pedal Dancer®:
Daniel Oss of BMC
Italian Daniel Oss of BMC. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
TERMINOLOGY

Cycling Terminology for the Tour of California

Riders: In professional cycling the racers are generally called riders as opposed to racers or cyclists.
Staff: A cycling team is made up of many parts beyond the riders. The Team Manager handles general operations, commitments, and sponsorship. Directeur Sportifs drive the team cars and plan race strategy. Coaches, Therapists, and Team Doctors work together to train and keep the athletes healthy and riding well. Mechanics maintain all team equipment. Soigneurs are the run around guys/gals handling bags and supplies, food and water, clothing, and set-up while making sure the riders know the way to the sign-in stage, start line, and hotel. They also give bidons and swag to small children. Some soigneurs also give massage after the race to riders, or the team might have a designated Masseuse. Most of the team staff are a friendly bunch, but their priorities are rider safety and support so always stay outside the rope lines and ask first for autographs or swag.
Roster: A list of each rider on each team, their country, and their bib (dossard) number. Bring a roster with you so you may easily identify riders. Both the rider and their bike will be numbered. Some riders have their last name on their jersey of helmet.
Route map (parcours): The course or path the riders will take from start to finish. Some stages will have laps where riders will repeat the same few blocks within the stage. Stage 8 has 5 laps before the finish.
Stage profile: Maps the ascents and descents along a stage. It is often fun for fans to see the riders on a climb where the rider's speed slows slightly (or coming around a corner).
Rolling neutral start: Riders begin at a start line but do not begin racing until a few blocks or miles into the route (the distance varies). A neutral start is used if the start area conditions are narrow, crowded, or unsafe for race conditions. A neutral start is also sometimes used as a show of respect. Stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 all have neutral starts this year.
Rolling Closure: Rolling road closures affect all traffic on the race route - roads are not considered "closed" but instead closed  as the riders proceed along the route, enabling the racers to maintain a race speed. Rolling closures are exactly controlled and orchestrated by police, race marshals, local volunteers, and race officials for the safety of both riders and citizens. Roads are closed to all on-coming and entering traffic 20-30 minutes before the race caravan passes a stretch of road. Once the line of riders and official cars have passed each section safely, the road section will be immediately re-opened by officials or volunteers. Rolling closures are temporary moving closures, expect delays of 30-45 minutes.
Road Closure: Road Closures are completely closed to auto traffic, but often remain open to pedestrian foot traffic and bike traffic up until a set time prior to the race passing through. Road Closure times will be posted by city officials notifying citizens ahead of time, all citizens must obey. Road closures are strictly enforced and necessary for safety, with no exceptions other than official race vehicles allowed passage.
KOM (King of Mountain): First rider to the top of a designated climb on the race route. Riders receive points, the rider with the most points wins the King of the Mountain (KOM) (climber's) jersey. The jersey transfers each day to the rider with the most points overall. There may be more than one KOM point in a stage, Stage 4 has 6 KOMs.
Sprint: First rider to a designated sprint line on the race route. Riders receive points, the rider with the most points wins the sprint (green) jersey. The jersey transfers each day to the rider with the most points overall. There may be more than one KOM point in a stage.
Leader: There will be a current leader out on course while the race is taking place, but the overall Leader (yellow jersey) is the rider with the lowest (fastest) overall time for all stages. The winner of each day's stage is called the Stage Winner, not the Leader.
Feed zone: A designated area on the route where team staff must pass out food bags (musettes) to the riders containing food. Water may be handed to riders through team cars throughout the stage.
Breakaway: 1 to a few riders who are leading the race and ahead of the main peloton.
Peloton: The main pack of riders chasing the lead breakaway.
Podium girls: A tradition in professional cycling to have 2 beautiful women present the awards to the riders at the finish of every stage.
Podium: Each day the top three riders finishing the stage are awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes on the podium. Then the 6 overall Classification jerseys are awarded.
Classification Jerseys: Awards for best type of rider in a field. This year the Tour of California will feature 4 classifications: Leader (fastest overall time, yellow jersey), Mountain (climber, red polka dot jersey), Sprint (fastest sprinter, green jersey), Most Aggressive (most combative/competitive, blue Breakaway from Cancer jersey). As the stage race progresses the overall classification winner is presented with his jersey after each stage and will wear the jersey at the start of the next day's stage.
Stage Race: a cycling race consisting of more than one day of racing, where points and time is tallied every day to determine an overall winner at the end of the race. The 2012 Amgen Tour of California will have 8 stages.
Bib Number or Dossard: please read an earlier Pedal Dancer post to understand how riders are numbered: Word of the Day: Dossard

*For more terminology read a far more advanced international version read The Inner Ring's glossary of cycling terms Lexicon.

Fans at Santa Barbara Tour of California
Fans at the race in 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
TIPS FOR SPECTATORS

Options for viewing the race for Fans:
  • Come early to the race: If you enjoy riding your bike out on the road with the pros, seeing your favorite rider at a local coffee shop or outside hotels, or seeing every single rider at the Team Presentation (a couple days before the race start) you will enjoy being a tourist during the pre-race weekend.
  • Start Area: Lots to see as teams and riders prepare for the days race, fun photographs and autographs. Good for families and knowledgeable fans. Fantastic during Individual Time Trials as the riders warm up, weigh & measure bikes and roll down the start ramp.
  • In any town: You can sit and enjoy a meal at a cafe and then go to the side of the road to watch the riders race by. Good for locals or those wanting to avoid the crowds.
  • In the countryside: You may picnic or hike before the riders come through on the road, then watch the flash of color roar by.
  • On a mountain:Cycle out to a mountain pass to watch the riders climb - lots of atmosphere and fun with thefans. Good for cyclists.
  • Finish Area: Enjoy a meal before or after the finish. Visit the Festival of vendors and sponsors. Watch a very fast exciting sprint finish to the line. Limited rider viewing, but fun anticipation and event atmosphere.
  • Stay over in a host city if possible, sometimes you will see staff walking around the bustling towns, mechanics working on the bikes, or the riders stopping in for an early morning coffee.
Typical timing of a race day for fans (approximate times, please check the exact stage schedule):
  • 8:00-9:00 - arrive, park, have a meal in a restaurant or coffee shop (arrive 2-3 hrs before the start time), or begin your ride out onto the course.
  • 9:00-12:00 - watching fans, staff, riders at the Start area prepare for the day. Team buses arrive 1.5-2 hours before the start time.
  • 9:00-11:00 - each rider must sign-in 1 hour before the stage start.
  • 10:30-12:00 - the race begins from the Start village. The roads in the direction of the race will not be passable while the riders are racing on them. Individual Time Trials start about 1pm.
  • 1:00-3:00 - riders hit the climbs for the day. Use your Apps to track the race.
  • 2:00-4:00 - watching fans and waiting for riders at the Finish area. The Lifestyle Festival is typically large and active at the Finish.
  • 3:45-4:30 - riders race across the Finish line.
  • 4-4:30ish - awards ceremony on the podium at the stage near the finish line (within 15 minutes of the finish, due to TV coverage). Bikes are cleaned and packed up near the team buses. Riders might transfer to nearby team hotels in team cars. If the team travels to another city, they will load in the big team buses.
  • 5:30-7 - give back to the host city and take in a meal, shop, or hotel it while the traffic settles.
Don't forget to bring your cowbells!
cowbell
And wear your tshirts and hats, and bring your flags ... buy official gear here: Shop ATOC
Which hat should I wear? The new one I bought this year for the 2014 Amgen tour of California
_________________________________

2015 at the race

Pedal Dancer® 2015 Posts about the race:
Tour of California Results from 2015

2015 JERSEY WINNERS
  • LEADER - Amgen Leader Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS)Lexus King of the
  • KOM - Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Daniel Oss (ITA), BMC Racing Team (USA)
  • SPRINT - Visit California Sprint Jersey – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro
  • YOUNG - Cycling Team (BEL)SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey – Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL)
  • COURAGEAOUS - Breakaway from Cancer®  Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Oscar Clark (USA); Hincapie Racing Team (USA)
Amgen Tour of California General Classification/Overall Top 3
  • FIRST – Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS)
  • SECOND – Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL)
  • THIRD – Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (COL), Team Sky (GBR)
  • Team Classification – Team Sky (GBR)
2015 Photos from the race by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography:>

Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan Tour of California
Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan 2015. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Peter Sagan Tour of California
Peter Sagan ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Mark Cavendish Tour of California
Mark Cavendish ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Etixx Quickstep team
Etixx Quickstep team. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Mark Renshaw
Mark Renshaw ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Julian Alaphilippe
Julian Alaphilippe ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Peter Sagan Tour of California
Peter Sagan ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Peter Sagan Tour of California
An exhausted Peter Sagan at the top of Mt Baldy. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Riders arrive at Mt Baldy in 2015 ATOC
Riders arrive at Mt Baldy in 2015 ATOC. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Oakley Team Car
Oakley Team Car with Mark Cavendish's bike on the back. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Julian Alaphilippe in yellow
Julian Alaphilippe in yellow. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Ian Boswell
Ian Boswell ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Julian Alaphilippe in the best young rider jersey
Julian Alaphilippe in the best young rider jersey. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Start line call ups at ATOC
Start line call ups at ATOC. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Alison Steinkamp
Alison Steinkamp . ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Lawson Craddock
Lawson Craddock. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Matthew Busche
Matthew Busche. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Scott Mitchel, SKY team photographer.
Scott Mitchel, SKY team photographer. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Camera Moto drivers
Camera Moto drivers at the top of Mt Baldy, ATOC. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography
______________________________

2014

Pedal Dancer® photos of Amgen Tour of California from 2014:

Mark Cavendish Tour of California
My favorite photo I took from the 2014 Tour of California. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
The line up of jerseys in 2014. Photo by Willie Riechenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins won the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. Photo by Willie Richenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Bradley Wiggins - Pedal Dancer
Bradley climbing in Westlake Village/Thousand Oaks.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish at the 2014 Tour of California.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Mark Cavendish exhausted after Stage 6.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Peter Stetina - Pedal Dancer
Peter Stetina being interviewed.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Jens Voigt - Pedal Dancer
Jens Voigt.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Tour of California - Pedal Dancer
Peloton at ATOC 2014.  Photo by Willie Richenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Taylor Phinney - Pedal Dancer
Taylor Phinney. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Final Podium - Pedal Dancer
Classification jerseys. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Peter Sagan - Pedal Dancer
Peter Sagan. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Danny Von Popple - Pedal Dancer
Danny Von Popple. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish before the final stage start in Westlake Village. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography® 
Ben King - Pedal Dancer
Ben King leads the circuit into Pasadena. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Thor Hushovd - Pedal Dancer
Thor Hushovd. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Mark Cavendish.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Brad and Mark. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Mark Cavendish Podium Girls - Pedal Dancer
Podium kisses for Cav. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®
Tour of California Eagle man
Tour of California Eagle man. ©Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer Photography®

Archived Race Coverage by Pedal Dancer®

REPORTS FROM - 2015 Amgen Tour of California - by PEDAL DANCER
Please see: 2015 Amgen Tour of California Fan Guide

REPORTS FROM - 2014 Amgen Tour of California - by PEDAL DANCER
Please see: 2014 Amgen Tour of California Fan Guide

REPORTS FROM - 2013 Amgen Tour of California - by PEDAL DANCER
Please see: 2013 Amgen Tour of California Fan Guide

REPORTS FROM - 2012 Amgen Tour of California - by PEDAL DANCER
Please see: 2012 Amgen Tour of California - Fan Guide Page

REPORTS FROM - 2011 & 2010 Amgen Tour of California - by PEDAL DANCER
Please see: 2011 and 2010 Amgen Tour of California - Fan Guide Page