SACRAMENTO, Calif. — This year’s Tour of California will cover 575 miles from Sacramento to Pasadena, while the women’s race that precedes it in May will be the only UCI WorldTour race in the U.S. this year.
Organizers revealed the route Tuesday, along with announcing that Jens Voigt, Freddie Rodriguez and three-time Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong will serve as ambassadors.
After the opening circuit stage in Sacramento on May 14, the men’s race takes riders from Modesto to San Jose, Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita and up the iconic climb of Mt. Baldy. There is also a time trial at Big Bear Lake before the final stage to Pasadena.
The women’s race, which begins May 11 in South Lake Tahoe, became the only U.S. race on this year’s WorldTour calendar when the Philly Cycling Classic was canceled last month.
GENT, Belgium (AP) Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet won his second race in three days Sunday, beating fellow Belgian Jens Keukeleire in a two-man sprint finish to take the Gent-Wevelgem classic.
World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who won last year’s race, finished third.
The 249-kilometer (154.7-mile) race through Belgium included two ascents of the steep, cobbled Kemmelberg hill, one of the iconic climbs of the spring classics season.
Last year’s race was overshadowed by the death of Belgian rider Antoine Demoitie after a fall.
Sagan fell Friday in the E3 Harelbeke, which Van Avermaet also won to add to his victory last month in Het Nieuwsblad.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Alejandro Valverde of Spain won his second Tour of Catalonia on Sunday.
Valverde secured the victory by finishing first in the 139-kilometer (86-mile) seventh stage, perfectly timing his final sprint at a hilltop overlooking Barcelona.
He finished the weeklong race more than one minute ahead of Alberto Contador and Marc Soler, who closed out the all-Spanish podium.
Valverde won despite receiving a one-minute time penalty Wednesday after race officials ruled that some Movistar riders pushed one another in Tuesday’s team time trial.
The 36-year-old Valverde had won two other stages.
Valverde also won the race in northeastern Spain in 2009, the same year he clinched the Spanish Vuelta for his only Grand Tour title.
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome fell out of contention during Saturday’s stage.