Amgen Tour of California – Men’s Stage 6By Megan Murphy
Amgen unveils 2018 route; stage 6 to showcase Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail
The cycling route for the major leagues of cycling 2018 Amgen Tour of California race has been released, and Stage 6 will begin on Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail.
Stage 6, taking place on Friday, May 18, will begin with a breakfast party around 8 a.m. at Rodeo Park, and will give the community an exclusive opportunity to hang out with the competition riders, said Robert Goss, director of the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department. The race itself will begin with a “Neutral Roll-out” at 9:45 a.m. and will be led by racers who have won various categories up until Stage 6.
“You can come early and join the meet and greet with the riders, get an autograph, talk with them, and have some breakfast,” Goss said. “It’s a great opportunity to see the riders up close when they are relaxed and willing to talk before the ride.”
This early morning start is different than the past three instances Folsom hosted the Tour of California – in 2011, which was a pass-through; and in 2014 and 2016, which were time trails.
Unlike the past years, road closures will be short.
“In 2014 and 2016, we locked down the northern part of the city in terms of closing roads to do the event. Surprisingly, we didn’t get a lot of complaints,” Goss said. “This start is different. From the point the riders start at 9:45 a.m. to the time they leave the city limits is about 15 minutes. It will be kind of like a parade for approximately the first three-and-a-half miles.”
Once the “Neutral Roll-out” begins, the pro peloton of 125 riders will make their way down the Johnny Cash Trail, over Robber’s Ravine Bridge and under Prison Road. When they reach E. Natoma, they will turn right and then make a left onto Green Valley Road, which is where the official zero kilometer start point is.
Following Green Valley Road, Stage 6 will take riders through Placerville to Pleasant Valley Road, Sly Park Road and onto Mormon Emigrant Trail, leading the cyclists through Tragedy Springs and Kirkwood. After, the route takes the contestants through Hope Valley to Sheridan, and as they cross into Nevada, they will finish with a categorized one climb at Daggett, finishing in South Lake Tahoe.
The overall race winner will likely be determined by this stage and the final miles into South Lake Tahoe.
Stage 6 is a mere 122 miles with seven categorized climbs and a total of 16,000 feet in climbing that will last up to six hours, Goss said.
“Sixteen thousand feet uphill is a far amount more than climbing Mount Whitney from coast to peek. Mount Whitney is about 14,500 feet,” he said. “This makes for a very difficult day. What’s unique is where this stage is in the race. It’s the day before the conclusion. The final stage is in Sacramento, which is relatively flat.”
For those interested in participating in the morning breakfast party at Rodeo Park, Stafford Street will be closed to vehicles. Limited parking will be available. Goss said everyone is encouraged to ride their bike to the event, as there will be bike parking available.
Lorraine Poggione, manager of the Folsom Municipal Landscape Services Division, said there will be multiple observation spots for those who do not plan to attend the breakfast party.
Poggione recommended observations spots such as along the Johnny Cash Trail, but not on the trail, the corner of Natoma and East Natoma streets at the future Johnny Cash Park, Along the north side of E. Natoma Street, the corner of Blue Ravine Road and E. Natoma Street, along Green Valley Road, as well as on top of the Morman Island Auxiliary Dam.
“No teams have been announced at this time, but there is a good possibility we will have some local characters back in the race,” Goss said.
The Stage 6 event will be internationally televised from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the day of the race on NBC.
As more information about the 2018 Amgen Tour of California is released, the Telegraph will report on it.
For more information on the Amgen Tour of California, go to amgentourofcalifornia.com.
(Posted 6:00 a.m. 2-8-18)