The 2016 Amgen Tour stages were announced Thursday. Organizers will flip the route this year, going south-to-north with a start in San Diego, a first-ever mountaintop finish at Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County, a first-ever team time trial in Folsom, and a first-ever finish in Sacramento.
The Sacramento region will host parts of three stages.
The tour will start in San Diego May 15 and will finish in Sacramento May 22. Lodi and South Lake Tahoe were also named as host cities.
Curtis Taylor rides with the Cycle Folsom club. He says he's also excited to see the finish of the mountain stage at Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County.
"That's one of the things that this does," he says. "It makes us get out there and go see what the local cycling communities think is the greatest thing they have. It gets presented here at the Amgen and then we go ride those when we're in town."
The Folsom bid committee says it costs about $150,000 to host a stage.
Karen Holmes owns Karen's Bakery Cafe and is already reaping the benefits, her cafe was recognized during Amgen's tour route announcement.
"That this bike race, this international bike race would be coming back to Folsom? That's big enough news," says Holmes. "That it would be ending the tour in Sacramento is even bigger news. And yes, then having a little shoutout on that announcement was like more than I could ever have guessed for. Pretty darn awesome."
Folsom Vice Mayor Steve Miklos says the city's support of the event in 2014 did not go unnoticed by race organizers.
"It all has to do with logistics, financial support, community involvement, and certainly your community has to be able to have the infrastructure to have all those type of racers run around your city," he says. " We have 35 miles of trails, we have wide roadways, we have a very, very enthusiastic community that actually embraces events like that and that's a big one.
The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Burea says the event will likely bring between $2 million and $3 million in economic benefit to the region.
All four stages of the women's tour will coincide with the final four stages of the men's tour.
The women will race on four consecutive days for the first time and the Amgen Tour has reached an agreement to be one of the stops on the inaugural Women's World Tour.
Stage 2 of the race will take riders from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita; Stage 3 will continue in Thousand Oaks and finish in Santa Barbara County. Stage 4 will start in Morro Bay and end in Monterey County.