Amgen Tour of California skips Auburn region in 2013

Santa Rosa is farthest north race goes
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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The Amgen Tour of California won’t be pedaling within 100 miles of Auburn in 2013, despite efforts to attract the event back to the city where it made a stop in 2011.

The route announced Tuesday shows that the professional road cycling race will wind from south to north for the first time ever, starting in Escondido and finishing in San Francisco with the most northern stop in Santa Rosa, according to a press release.

Valerie Harris, chair of the Bike Auburn committee that submitted an application to be a host city for the race, said she wasn’t surprised to learn Auburn hadn’t been included.

“Santa Rosa is the most northerly it sounds that they have gone, so I think that tells you that for whatever reason, they didn’t come up north state,” Harris said. “So I don’t consider that to be a reflection specifically on Auburn. It is a reflection of the route opportunities that they have.”

Harris said whether the $10,000 in funds earmarked by the Auburn Endurance Committee for hosting the Amgen tour will continue to be set aside for that purpose is yet to be determined.

“Now that will require another look to see if that is money we want to continue to remain earmarked for Amgen or allow that money to be used in a different endurance capital endeavor,” she said.

In May 2011, cyclists raced through Downtown Auburn amid the cheers of thousands of spectators when it was the starting point for the third stage of the Amgen tour. In 2010, racers passed through Auburn on their way from Nevada City to Sacramento.

Harris said she was not surprised to learn that Auburn had been left off the list for 2013.

“I think there’s always the potential of being the host city again,” she said. “It’s just very competitive.”

Folsom had also made a push to host the event and there had been buzz about a potential Lake Tahoe finish.

The eighth consecutive edition of the Amgen tour will travel about 750 miles from May 12-19, 2013. As for including a mountain climb, the seventh stage will start in Livermore and finish in Mt. Diablo.

“I’m positive that they have selected a dynamic, challenging course for the riders, and that’s the whole goal of Amgen is to have it be a ride that draws riders, is competitive, and in turn draws the public,” Harris said. “So they’re very competent at doing that. So I look forward to going and seeing one of the stages.”


Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews