The 2015 Tour of California swings through the state – and Sacramento – beginning this week, showcasing top men and women cyclists in their own races.
The women’s event, four stages that includes an invitational time trial, runs from Friday through May 15.
The men’s event, eight stages that now form one of the premier races in the country, begins Sunday in Sacramento and is scheduled to end May 17, with a Los Angeles-to-Pasadena push that concludes at the Rose Bowl.
Fans in Northern California have plenty of opportunity to watch parts of both events. The first two stages of the women’s race, beginning Friday, are around and near Lake Tahoe. Stage 3 is in Sacramento, and the final stage, a 15.1-mile time trial featuring 20 of the world’s best riders, is at Big Bear Lake, east of San Bernardino in Southern California.
The men’s and women’s events converge in Sacramento on Sunday. That’s when the first stage of the men’s race begins at the Capitol (it also will finish there 126.2 miles later) and Stage 3 of the women’s race is contested on a 2-mile circuit around the Capitol following the men’s departure.
Stage 2 of the men’s race is a 120-mile downhill stomp from Nevada City to Lodi, beginning in a bike-happy community, taking advantage of awesome scenery on the descent to the Sacramento Valley and concluding in vineyard-festooned Lodi.
The race concludes its NorCal portion in San Jose, a hilly, technical Stage 3 run on Tuesday before heading downstate. The complete race schedule, maps and other information are on the Amgen Tour of California’s website.
▪ Online and print: Daily coverage will be provided on sacbee.com and in The Sacramento Bee.
▪ Television: The final two hours of each stage of the men’s race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. For example, TV coverage of Stage 1 is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., about three hours after the 10:50 a.m. start of the stage.
Race announcers are Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Color commentary comes from Christian Vande Velde and Jens Voigt.
▪ Live coverage can be accessed from mobile devices through a free app. The Tour Tracker app can be downloaded via iTunes, Google Play, and the Apple and Android app stores.
▪ Coverage of Sunday’s Stage 3 in Sacramento will be provided on a sacbee.com live blog, offering updates, photos, comments and other information from several sources beginning at 10 a.m.
▪ The sole television presence of the women’s race will be in the form of a race wrapup from 11 p.m. to midnight May 15.
▪ Individual stages can be followed on the Tour Tracker app and the tour website.
A taste of the 2014 Tour of California