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Cycling

Amgen Pro Cycling Tour Returning to Santa Barbara in 2017

Stage 4 will start by the beach on Cabrillo Boulevard and finish in Santa Clarita

Stage 4 of the 2017 Amgen Tour cycling race will start by the beach on Cabrillo Blvd.
Stage 4 of the 2017 Amgen Tour cycling race will start by the beach on Cabrillo Blvd. (Fritz Olenberger / Noozhawk File Photo)

Santa Barbara has once again been selected as one of the host cities for the Amgen Tour of California men's cycling race in 2017.

On May 17, the field of elite riders will start Stage 4 of the 12th annual Tour on Cabrillo Boulevard, pedal through Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, and finish in Santa Clarita.

The men’s tour consists of seven stages, with the start in Sacramento on May 14 and the finish in Pasadena on May 20.

The other host cities (start and finish destinations for each stage) include Modesto, San Jose, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, Big Bear Lake (for time trial) and Mountain High.

A four-stage women’s competition will begin on May 11 in South Lake Tahoe and finish in Sacramento on May 14 as the men begin their seven-stage, 600-mile event.

Santa Barbara has been a host city for the Amgen Tour seven times. Last year, Stage 3, a 104-mile ride from Thousand Oaks, finished at the top of Gibraltar Road.

In 2015, Stage 5 was a Santa Barbara-to-Santa Clarita ride. In 2014, the riders blazed down San Marcos Pass and finished on Cabrillo Boulevard.

"We are excited to welcome riders, fans, sponsors and media for a spectacular Stage 4 start in Santa Barbara," said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president/CEO of Visit Santa Barbara. "Our avid cycling community couldn’t be prouder to host California's premier cycling race. We hope our city by the sea will provide a scenic backdrop for enduring memories."

Peter Sagan, the 2015 overall winner and record holder with 15 stage victories since riding for the first time in 2010, will headline next year’s competition.

“Racing in the Amgen Tour of California is always one of my top priorities every year,” Sagan said. “While spectacular to watch from a scenic standpoint, the route is consistently tough and challenging, and one that brings out the best in all of the riders.

"The incredible fans and all of the cities of California that we get to visit truly makes the Amgen Tour of California one of the best experiences of the year for me.”

The 2017 Tour will mark the first year the men’s race has been elevated to World Tour status by the international cycling federation (UCI), making it the only stage race in North America to receive this prestigious classification.

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