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
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
New York City saw three e-bike battery fires in the past 24 hours
Lithium-ion battery fires continue to wreak havoc on New York City as three fires spark in the past 24 hours alone, pushing the total of such fires past 200.
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
Quoc Chelsea Boots review - a promising idea, sadly not great either on or off the bike
Like a sofa-bed, the Quoc Chelsea Boots are neither entirely comfortable nor functional
By Myles Warwood • Published
Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan to ride 2018 Tour of California
Full route of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California (May 13-19) is confirmed, with a star-studded list of sprinters in attendance
By Nigel Wynn • Published
Tour of California sets tough route for 2016
The eleventh edition of the race between San Diego and Sacramento will feature 2014 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins ahead of the Rio Olympics
By Cycling Weekly • Published