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Volume 24 No. 114
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Amgen Tour Of California Announces Host Cities For '13 Race, Start At Escondido

Amgen Tour of California yesterday announced that 12 cities have been named official host city partners for its ‘13 race, helping to make up the route which will take riders on a South to North course for the first time in the eight-year race history. The official race start, Stage 1, will be May 12 and will begin and finish in Escondido. The eighth and final stage of the Tour will start in S.F. and finish on May 19 in Santa Rosa, which played host to the official race start last year. Amgen returns as the race title sponsor for the eighth consecutive year. Listed below are the city partners for the Tour (Amgen Tour of California).

May 12
May 16
Santa Barbara to Avila Beach
May 13
Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs
May 17
San Jose (individual time trial)
May 14
Palmdale to Santa Clarita
May 18
Livermore to Mt. Diablo
May 15
Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara
May 19
S.F. to Santa Rosa

HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST: In San Diego, David Garrick notes the race “brought crowds, excitement, tourists and national exposure to Escondido in February 2009, but it hasn’t returned since the slumping economy forced organizers to shrink the length of the race by eliminating San Diego County in 2010.” Escondido’s role in the race “will be much larger than it was four years ago because the city has been designated as the 2013 ‘starting line’ host.” The job includes “coordinating a week of parties and media events leading up to the 750-mile race.” Escondido officials have “hailed the race as a huge opportunity to boost the city’s image and reputation with tourists and developers planning housing projects or business parks.” An estimated “300,000 people, many of them tourists, watched at least part of the Escondido stage in person in 2009” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/28). In California, Bob Norberg notes Santa Rosa has “hosted starts and finishes in six of the seven tours that have been held,” and the city last May “staged the prestigious overall start.” Santa Rosa Tour organizing committee Chair Raissa de la Rosa said that the city had “asked for a similar stage all within Sonoma County, but were given a San Francisco-Santa Rosa route instead.” But Norberg notes the “overall finish of the race is still considered a preferred stage” (Santa Rosa PRESS DEMOCRAT, 11/28).

SPINNING ITS WHEELS: CYCLING NEWS’ Laura Weislo reports the announcement was “delayed by several weeks compared with previous years, and this combined with reluctance by some host city applicants to put out the reported $100,000 required by organiser AEG to host a stage, and news that AEG itself was up for sale, led to doubts about the race's future.” But Amgen Tour Exec Dir & AEG Sports Senior VP Kristin Bachochin, whose company owns the race, “played down any worries about AEG and the stability of the event.” Bachochin said that the Tour had “more applicants than it could select to host the race.” Weislo writes, “Expect to see only 16 teams and 128 riders in the 2013 race, but the composition of the field in terms of WorldTour, Pro Continental and Continental teams is still to be determined” (, 11/28).