The Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, stage four city, Sonora, Ca. held the first of several meetings to announce the route of the fourth stage. Contenders only need apply, pretenders will be hurt by this.
On May 16, 2012, for the first time in the history of the Amgen Tour, Sonora, Ca. will be the start point of one stage of the race. The crowd tonight was excited to hear about the route and the local committee organizers were happy to finally have the information to share.
The first meeting for the public was held tonight to announce the route for the fourth stage of the upcoming 2012 Amgen Tour of California bicycle race and the route has some easy sections. From downtown Sonora where stage four begins and to just outside of town is the easy section. That will be just over 3 miles of the 130 mile full stage route, with the fourth stage also being the longest stage in the 2012 race.
After leaving town the race gets serious with the turn towards the town of Moccasin, but after Moccasin, the race will get just slightly brutal with four sections in a 78 mile leg of the race being an extreme uphill road. Then a bit of 'rest' with just winding road for a bit and then a final uphill which will separate those who are contenders from those who are simply pretenders at the art of bicycle racing.
As difficult as any of the six "King of the Mountain" sections will be, where special points for the race are awarded, the ascents mean only one thing, going downhill. Some of the descents will be both very curvy and classed as 'technical descents, due to the fast loss of elevation and the need to use a great deal of caution while maintaining as much speed as possible. And from personal experience, there are at least two fifteen mile per hour corners in the route.
From that point outside the towns of Mariposa and Oakhurst, the route will cover the last 40 mile stretch into Clovis, which will hopefully not have the same snow and ice problems it had in the 2009 race. At the end of the day, which is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. and be finished by 3:00 p.m. and having covered 130 miles, the cyclists should be ready for a hot shower and perhaps a masseuse.
The Amgen Tour is arguably the premiere cycling race in the United States and is going to be a lot of fun for those who enjoy bicycle racing.