Stage three could well be the first big rendezvous in this year?s race, in a stage that takes the riders from San José to Modesto.

Last year the peloton rode from Modesto to San José, with the tough climb of Sierra Road serving as the stage?s finale. This year, the riders will face the climb (which rises to 1930ft) after just 10km.

It will be interesting to see whether any of the GC contenders will risk to reveal their cards so early on, with Patterson Pass another classified climb on the agenda.

After descending from Patterson Pass, there is a long run-in into Modesto, where the peloton, or what?s left of it, will complete two downtown circuits.

Tuesday February 17

San José-Modesto

167.7km

imageAbove: stage three profile

imageAbove: stage three map