Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A dozen cities, including South Pasadena and Santa Clarita, will host starts and finishes during the 2016 Amgen Tour of California bicycle race next spring, event organizers announced Thursday.

The race, which covers nearly 800 miles, draws around 200 riders, many of whom are preparing for the Olympics or Tour de France, and receives international media attention.

Olympic gold medalist and 2014 Tour of California champion Brad Wiggins of Great Britain is scheduled to compete in the event, which is scheduled for May 15-22.

The race will kick off in the heart of San Diego for the first time in its 11-year history  and conclude in Sacramento, the first time the state capital will host the overall race finish.

The course will lead competitors south to north for the second time since the race began in 2006, with the May 16 second leg starting in first-time host city South Pasadena, going through the Angeles National Forest and ending in Santa Clarita.

Of the 2016 lineup, Santa Clarita has the distinction of having hosted the most stages — 11, according to race organizers.

Other stages will run from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County on May 17; Morro Bay to Monterey County on May 18; Lodi to South Lake Tahoe on May 19; Folsom for the men’s individual time trial and women’s team time trial on May 20; and Santa Rosa on May 21.

A women’s race will take place over the last four days of the AEG- operated tour.

“Each edition of the Amgen Tour of California is more challenging and more beautiful than the last, and I’m excited to say that this year will be no exception,” said Kristin Klein, race president and executive vice president of AEG Sports.

“With one of the longer courses in race history packed with iconic and fan-favorite locations, the highest caliber of racing on U.S. soil and four days of women’s racing, the worldwide audience the Amgen Tour of California continues to attract has something special to look forward to with the 2016 edition,” she said.

Amgen, a Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company, has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year in connection with Breakaway from Cancer, a national initiative to increase awareness of resources available to people affected by the disease.

— Wire reports 

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