Each spring, Sonoma County hosts dozens of major biking events that bring cyclists from across the nation—and the world. One of the most popular of these annual events is the Amgen Tour of California, a professional cycling stage race for the UCI America Tour and the USA Cycling Professional Tour. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions.
First held in 2006, Amgen is widely considered one of the nation’s most important cycling races. The 8-day race covers 650-700 miles in California, and this year marks the eighth time that the county has hosted a stage of the race.
The 2016 race, which runs from May 15-22, begins in San Diego and ends in Sacramento. On the seventh day of the race (May 21, 2016)—known as the seventh stage—the race begins and ends in Santa Rosa, considered one of the world’s premier cycling destinations. See details.
The 109-mile, seventh-stage Men’s Route runs along Cazadero Highway, Pacific Coast Highway, Coleman Valley Road and includes four King of the Mountain points on King Ridge Road. Along the way cyclists will encounter redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean coastline.
The 64-mile Women’s Route will feature many of the same roads as the men’s route, with a single Queen of the Mountain climb on Coleman Valley Road. Stage 3 - Santa Rosa - for the women's race also happens on May 21, 2016. See details.
Amgen is always a fun event, with thousands of cheering spectators lining the route and a high-spirited atmosphere of celebration. At the finish line, the Lifestyle Festival shows the race on outdoor video screens, and offers plenty of live music, food, beverages, entertainment, race merchandise, games, cycle demos, health products and a lot more. There’s plenty of fun for kids, too.
To enjoy cycling Sonoma County at your own speed, check out our:
- Guide to Cycling in Sonoma County
- Popular Bike Itineraries: Cycling Through Wine Country
- Sonoma on a Bike: Upscale Bicycle Tours
- Sonoma County Attracts Amateur, Professional Cyclists
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.