The Tour Prologue in Palo Alto, California features a short and very fast individual time trial race that begins at city hall, loops through the busy downtown and into the Stanford Oval.
At the press conference in Palo Alto, local organizers touted the economic benefits that the Tour of California will bring to the area. They also hope to leverage local interest in this international cycling event to promote cycling for transportation and bike safety for cyclists and motorists. Local cyclist MaryAnn Levenson, for example, will work with schools to tie in the Tour of California with bike promotion and bike safety events. Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Corinne Winter will organize a bike-themed art competition in conjunction with the Tour of California. Palo Alto Mayor Yoriki Kishimoto hopes that excitement around the race will encourage more people to consider cycling as transportation in Palo Alto.
The stage details of the eight day race are:
- Prologue: Palo Alto-Stanford University (Sunday, February 17, 2008)
- Stage 1: Sausalito to Santa Rosa (Monday, February 18, 2008)
- Stage 2: Santa Rosa to Sacramento (Tuesday, February 19, 2008)
- Stage 3: Modesto to San Jose (Wednesday, February 20, 2008)
- Stage 4: Seaside to San Luis Obispo (Thursday, February 21, 2008)
- Stage 5: Solvang Individual Time Trial (Friday, February 22, 2008)
- Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita (Saturday, February 23, 2008)
- Stage 7: Santa Clarita to Pasadena (Sunday, February 24, 2008)
For more details, visit the AMGEN Tour of California website. Cycling photographer Ken Conley was there, though he told me he probably couldn’t post his photos until somewhat later. Ken does have his thoughts on the 2008 route.