Wondering where you’re going to set up to watch the action at the Amgen Tour of California when the bicycle race rolls out May 12-19?
Now you can find turn-by-turn route information for each stage at the bike race website.
Organizers published downloadable .pdf maps and interactive Google maps, as well as elevation cross-sections, online yesterday.
Scanning through those maps this morning, it’s obvious the most competition will come on the slopes of Mount Diablo — and I’m talking about the contest for roadside views. While that is where the 750-mile bike race might be won or lost, it’s also going to be the most difficult location for finding a viewpoint.
Mount Diablo rises to a 3,849-foot elevation summit overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area from the town of Danville in the East Bay. It’s likely to be covered in bicycle fans on May 18 for the finish of the 93-mile Stage 7 race that begins in Livermore.
Access for cars will be blocked for the final 4.5 miles of the route to the summit, so those fans will either have to pedal up on their own or hoof it. When last year’s race included the lower section of Mount Diablo last year, between 7,500 and 10,000 fans crammed the sides of the road.
Park officials expect more this year. And they expect a complete and utter kerfuffle when fans on foot, on bicycle and in cars leave the mountain at the same time that the teams, race officials and media are moving out.
Denis Cuff wrote about some of the problems facing park rangers and race officials at the San Jose Mercury News.
Here’s a map segment showing the final approach and climb up Mount Diablo.
Remember, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California will be different; it starts in the south and heads north for the first time. Also, it largely skips two of the big draws of earlier Tours — the Pacific Coast and the Sierra Nevada.
The Sierras are avoided altogether this year, and the only coastal views will come when the race heads along the Pacific at the end of Stage 4 and the beginning of Stage 5.
Here’s the day-by-day host cities and links to route information:
- Stage 1: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido
- Stage 2: Monday, May 13 – Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs
- Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14 – Palmdale to Santa Clarita
- Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15 – Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara
- Stage 5: Thursday, May 16 – Santa Barbara to Avila Beach
- Stage 6: Friday, May 17 – San Jose (Individual Time Trial)
- Stage 7: Saturday, May 18 – Livermore to Mt. Diablo
- Stage 8: Sunday, May 19 – San Francisco to Santa Rosa