The Amgen Tour of California recently announced the tour’s city partners for the 2013 race. There were many glaring omissions and changes for the race.
The first omission is the lack of any Central Valley cities, mainly Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, Turlock and Sonora, who served as host or finishing cities in most of the tour’s history.
The City of Turlock was asked by AEG, organizers of the Tour of California, to submit an application to become one of the partners for the race but Turlock representatives were stunned when they realized that the race wasn’t coming to their city. This will mark the second time in tour history that the race will not visit a Central Valley city (2006).
On the other hand, the City of Modesto went all out and had an impressive application. The city’s 2013 tour application website, http://www.ci.modesto.ca.us/amgen/default.aspx, was complete and was well done. However, organizers did not see it this way as Modesto was rejected too.
The biggest change for the 2013 race will be that the tour will start in Southern California, in the city of Escondido and will traverse to northern cities as the tour wraps up in the city of Santa Rosa.
San Jose is the only city that has been in all eight tours.
The city partners for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California are:
• Stage 1: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido
• Stage 2: Monday, May 13 – Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs
• Stage 3: Tuesday, May 14 – Palmdale to Santa Clarita
• Stage 4: Wednesday, May 15 – Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara
• Stage 5: Thursday, May 16 – Santa Barbara to Avila Beach
• Stage 6: Friday, May 17 – San Jose (Individual Time Trial)
• Stage 7: Saturday, May 18 – Livermore to Mt. Diablo
• Stage 8: Sunday, May 19 –San Francisco to Santa Rosa
- Rabobank, the team that had 2012 Tour of California winner, Robert Gesink, will not be making a return trip as their support for cycling will end this year after the Lance Armstrong scandal.
- Three-time Tour of CA race general classification winner, Levi Leipheimer may not be racing in the 2013 race as he was fired by his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in October of 2012 after his admission of doping between 1999 and 2007, perhaps using EPO, the same drug that the main sponsor, AMGEN, manufactures.
- Every year, since the inception of the AMGEN Tour of California, at least one of the podium finishers (top 3) has used performance enhancing drugs (PED) in their careers; for the 2013 race, I EXPECT the same.
- With one summit finish,MountDiablo, the race will be relatively boring and unexciting and whoever wins the summit top finish and performs well in the time trail inSan Joseis the likely race winner. I wonder what the odds are of later finding out that winner used EPO or any other PED.
- Pre-race favorite: American Tejay van Garderen