Road closures forces Stage 6 reconfiguration away from Pasadena
The City of Palmdale, in the Antelope Valley of Los Angeles, will serve as a host city and be the location for the Stage 6 start of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, AEG, presenter of the eight-day cycling road race, announced today. The May 21 stage start had to be moved from Pasadena due to road closures on the Angeles Crest Highway caused by recent fires and subsequent mudslide damage to the route. The fifth-annual event, which will once again have a world-class field of competitors, including three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong, will take place from May 16-23.
Palmdale City Hall will serve as the backdrop for the most difficult stage in the five-year history of the Amgen Tour of California. After a five-mile neutral section heading south on Sierra Rd., the route makes a left turn onto Angeles Forest Highway. Facing the riders is the imposing San Gabriel mountain range, and within a few miles the first of seven KOMs will be crested. After a blistering descent from Mill Creek Summit, the route turns to Upper Big Tujunga and then onto Angeles Crest Highway. From there, the riders continue on a 135-mile odyssey with more than 12,000 feet of climbing. The race will climb to a high point of nearly 8,000 feet as it rolls along the Angeles Crest Highway. Then, there is a brief respite as they descend to Wrightwood and over to Highway 138. The route again ascends as it passes through Crestline and Lake Arrowhead, as the cyclists take to the “Rim of the World” highway. Entering the Big Bear area, the riders will take the northern route around Big Bear Lake and then tackle the last rise to the finish at a more than 7,000-foot elevation at the Snow Summit ski area for the Amgen Tour of California’s first-ever alpine finish.
“After assessing the options for re-routing Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California, we determined that Palmdale would be the perfect start city for the race, allowing us to feature much of the same challenging terrain in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “As long-term partners of Pasadena, we appreciate how graciously they have handled this difficult situation. We look forward to returning to Pasadena soon and to working with new partner Palmdale this year.”