Riders at the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will tackle the infamous Corkscrew corner at the Laguna Seca race track as organisers reveal the toughest route in race history.
Stage four will finish at the race track in Monterey County, with the Corkscrew presenting riders with a blind summit, followed by a sharp 12 per cent drop. As they sweep through the immediate right-hander the gradient increases to an 18 per cent drop, ensuring riders are kept on their toes throughout the final stages of the race.
The stage promises to be one of the most beautiful of the race, skirting up the California coast from Morro Bay in a race that goes from South to North of the state for only the second time in its history.
Stage one starts and finishes in the state's second largest city, San Diego, giving the sprinters an opportunity to get an early win. The fastmen will be in action again on stage two in the 148km route between South Pasadena and Santa Clarita.
The race's first summit finish comes on stage three on Gibraltar Road - a 10km climb averaging eight per cent, with spectacular views of Santa Barbara beach below.
Stage five could be one for the puncheurs, with a long climb up to towards South Tahoe before an undulating run to the finish. The following day the time triallists will get their chance to shine in the 20.3km test in Folsom.
>>> How did Peter Sagan win the Tour of California?
Stage seven is another hilly day, but the flat finish could mean it won't have much bearing on the general classification, and the traditional sprint finish for stage eight comes in Sacramento.
The 2015 edition of the race came down to the wire, with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) winning bonus seconds on the final sprint to beat Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) by one second in Los Angeles.
Amgen Tour of California 2016 route (Men)
Sunday 15 May, stage 1: San Diego – San Diego, 170,5 km
Monday 16 May, stage 2: South Pasadena – Santa Clarita, 148 km
Tuesday 17 May, stage 3: Thousand Oaks – Santa Barbara County (Gibraltar Road), 167,5 km
Wednesday 18 May, stage 4: Morro Bay – Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, 215 km
Thursday 19 May, stage 5: Lodi - South Lake Tahoe, 213 km
Friday 20 May, stage 6: Folsom Time Trial, 20,3 km
Saturday 21 May, stage 7: Santa Rosa - Santa Rosa, 175,5 km
Sunday 22 May, stage 8: Sacramento – Sacramento, 150 km
Thursday 19 May, stage 1: South Lake Tahoe - South Lake Tahoe, 117 km
Friday 20 May, stage 2: Folsom Time Trial, 20,3 km
Saturday 21 May, stage 3: Santa Rosa - Santa Rosa, 111 km
Sunday 22 May, stage 4: Sacramento – Sacramento, 66 km
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