Amgen Tour of California riders will have plenty of sights to see as the seven-stage race stretches from Long Beach to Sacramento in May, according to route maps released Thursday morning.
"I like racing as well as training in California — I can see the beach and do altitude training all in one place," 2017 opening stage winner Marcel Kittel said in a statement. "I've always had a really good time at the Amgen Tour of California and am excited to compete this year."
Kittel is confirmed for the 2018 edition of the race, as is Peter Sagan, who will attempt to defend his seventh California green jersey for dominating the race's overall sprint competition.
""Building up to the Tour de France with a strong performance at the Amgen Tour of California is always an important goal," Sagan stated. "The race is one of my favorite competitions every year — always challenging competition and such beautiful scenery — and I'm excited to return and try for more stage wins this year."
Stage 1 takes place May 13 in Long Beach, followed by Stage 2 on May 14 from Ventura to Santa Barbara County (Gibraltar Road), Stage 3 on May 15 from King City to Monterrey County (Laguna Seca Recreation Area), Stage 4 on May 16 in San Jose/Morgan Hill (time trial), Stage 5 on May 17 from Stockton to Elk Grove, Stage 6 on May 18 from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe and Stage 7 on May 19 in Sacramento.
Also released Thursday were the route maps for the Amgen Tour of California's Women's Race, which runs in three stages from May 17-19 in Elk Grove, South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.