This stage will highlight the best of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, which have long been the cornerstone of the Amgen Tour of California. The men’s race will return to Pismo Beach for its third race start. With the beach and refurbished pier as the backdrop, the race will head south on Hwy 1 through Grover Beach, Oceano and Guadalupe, with the first of two sprints in Orcutt. Within a few miles, the race will reach Foxen Canyon and the home of countless world-class vineyards and wineries. As the race leaves the vineyards and jumps onto Hwy 154 in Los Olivos, the riders will enter the feed zone to replenish some calories. Ahead lays the grueling category climb up San Marcos Pass. A wicked fast descent into Santa Barbara will put the race onto Hwy 192 and through the heart of the storm and fire damage from late 2017 and early 2018, where state, county and local agencies have worked tirelessly to repair roads and replace bridges.
After leaving Hwy 192, the stage’s final two categorized climbs lie ahead on Casitas Pass. The finish will be within a few miles once the cyclist enter Ventura, which hosted its first stage last year. Riders will contest the final sprint at the summit of a short 12% climb up Fero Drive. The final miles to the Ventura finish line will be intense as the teams set up their sprinters for a field sprint along the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, the women will contest a relatively short but punchy day of racing with five QOMs. The out and back course starts and finishes in Ventura. The final 35 miles is the same route the men will use coming into Ventura for their Stage 5 finish later in the day.
M: 135.8 miles / 218.5 km W: 60 miles / 96.5 km
KOMs: 5 QOMs: 5
Elevation Gain: 9,681’ Elevation Gain: 4,885
Sprints: Orcutt, Ventura Sprints: Ventura
Expected Outcome: Field sprint