Yes, pedaling up the Tram Road when the temperature is touching an absurd 114 degrees is probably not for everyone.
And in 2014, the Amgen Tour of California said, no thanks as well. The Coachella Valley will not be one of the 11 host locations in the 2014 race, a 700-mile, eight-day trek from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks, the title sponsor’s home.
Nearly 130 riders participated in last year’s event, which included the 124-mile trip from Murrieta to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station. The leg was regarded as one of the most grueling segments of the race with its 9,790-foot elevation gain into the San Bernardino National Forest then down Highway 74 into the the Coachella Valley. Colombian rider Janier Acevedo won that leg of the Amgen Tour.
For the average onlooker, it might be easy to blame the weather for Amgen’s decision against a second trip through the Coachella Valley. However, the race often changes its route. And since the race will start in northern California in 2014, a dip all the way down into Palm Springs was not likely, said Scott White, president and CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“What really hurt us, was that Escondido decided not to bid for a stage, their route really complimented a connection to ours and created a domino effect,” White added.
The 2014 tour, which runs May 11-18, will travel through 13 host cities, four of them new to the route. They include:
• Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
• Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial)
• Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo
• Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria
• Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
• Stage 6: Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High
• Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
• Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks
“We strive to raise the bar each year to present an Amgen Tour of California that not only continues to attract and challenge the world’s top cyclists, but also fittingly features and promotes California’s unique sights and striking scenery,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports, in a statement. “We’re confident our worldwide audience will enjoy everything next year’s race has to offer – from epic climbs to rolling hills and thrilling finishes by sea, it’s a testament to California’s iconic terrain.”