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Tour of California to take riders higher, farther than ever

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Egan Bernal wins 2018 TOur of California

(AP) – The most prestigious road cycling race in the U.S. will take riders farther than ever before after the Tour of California revealed the full route for this year’s edition.

The seven-stage men’s race, which begins May 12 in Sacramento, will cover 773 miles and gain more than 68,000 feet in elevation. More than half the stages will cover at least 120 miles, and the sixth stage could produce the overall winner when riders reach the popular summit of Mt. Baldy.

The three-stage women’s race, which begins May 16, covers most of the same routes as the men’s stages. It also will be the toughest in history at nearly 180 miles with 20,800 feet in elevation gain.

2019 Tour of California route

The Tour of California has emerged as a crucial Tour de France proving ground over the past 14 years with many of the top European riders making the trek to the U.S. Team and rider selections are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Men’s race
Sunday, May 12: Stage 1 — Sacramento, 142.9km
Monday, May 13: Stage 2 — Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe, 193.9km
Tuesday, May 14: Stage 3 — Stockton to Morgan Hill, 207km
Wednesday, May 15: Stage 4 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to Morro Bay, 221.8km
Thursday, May 16: Stage 5 — Pismo Beach to Ventura, 217.9km
Friday, May 17: Stage 6 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy, 127km
Saturday, May 18: Stage 7 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena, 141km

Women’s race
Thursday, May 16: Stage 1 — Ventura, 95.9km
Friday, May 17: Stage 2 — Ontario to Mt. Baldy, 73.9km
Saturday, May 18: Stage 3 — Santa Clarita to Pasadena, 115km