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Amgen Returns to Sacramento


The first stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will start and end at the State Capitol.

The race takes a different route every year and the past two have skipped Sacramento.  But next year's race will start May 11 at the State Capitol for stage one.  The second stage will be a time trial in Folsom the next day.

It will be Folsom's first time hosting a part of the event.

Professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez is a California native who rides for the Jelly Belly Cycling Team. He says the quality of the competition has made hosting the event important to cities and counties throughout the state.

"When the field gets strong, the riders feel it, the fans feel it.  What's beautiful about the Amgen Tour of California, you get the top riders from the Tour de France to race on our home soil on our home turf and the fans love that."

The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau says about 70,000 people are expected to witness the event and bring $8.5 million dollars into the local economy. 

Erin Gorrell rides for a local cycling club and owns two bike shops.  She says the race may have all male riders, but it's driving up female interest in the sport of cycling.

"There's more girl power out there now, a lot more women cycling teams urges everyday recreational riders that women can go ahead and feel a part of," Gorrell said. "Women always like to get their social time and exercise together. It's a bonus for them if they can do both."

San Jose, Monterey, Pismo Beach, Santa Clarita, and Thousand Oaks will host the starts of the following six stages.  The race will end May 18.


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