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by Neal Rogers
February 9, 2018
In today’s Daily News Digest: Cavendish wins Stage 3 of Dubai Tour, Viviani moves into GC lead; Massive raid reveals systematic doping program within amateur Italian team; 2018 Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s routes announced; Aqua Blue Sport owner speaks of wildcard frustration, calls for changes; Gore Bike Wear brightens up Shakedry material for improved visibility; Iranian track sprinter Seyedmahmoud Rasouli handed four-year suspension.
Three of the sport’s top sprinters are confirmed to for the 2018 Amgen Tour of California — Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and world champion Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), who holds the California record with 16 stage wins.
Key stages of the men’s race, which runs May 13-19, include Stage 2, finishing atop the Gibraltar Road climb in Santa Barbara, the 21.6-mile (34.7km) Stage 4 time trial in San Jose, and the uphill finish in South Lake Tahoe at almost 7,000 feet (2,100m) elevation.
The women’s Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will run concurrently May 17-19, covering 187 miles over three stages. Stage 1 is expected to finish in a sprint in Elk Grove. Stage 2 finishes at Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe. Stage 3 is the race’s traditional circuit race in Sacramento, also expected to be a field sprint.
With parts of the state still impacted by wildfires and subsequent mudslides, affected portions of the route will be inspected up until race time, and race routes are subject to change to ensure fan and rider safety. Specifically, Stage 2 from Ventura to Gibraltar Road, will travel through areas affected by recent fires and flooding; there will likely be changes to a section of the Stage 2 route that passes through Camarillo and Montecito as several bridges are being assessed for repair or replacement.
A visual overview of the men’s and women’s courses is viewable here.