Gibraltar Road has been the most requested mountaintop finish since the race began. After the mountain road was paved and therefore able to be contested in the 2016 race, it became an instant fan favorite. The moment the race finished, the chant began for "more…more…more!" In 2018, Gibraltar is back!
The City of Ventura warmly welcomed the race in 2016 as the peloton bid a quick hello passing through to Gibraltar. This year, Ventura will host its first stage - the start of the "Queen Stage" just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean near the Ventura Pier. Will the riders be relaxing and taking in the sun at the start? Probably not. Most will be thinking about the coming assault of Gibraltar Road.
After a neutral parade route through downtown Ventura, the race will head through Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ojai. The riders will climb out of Santa Paula to the first of three King of the Mountain climbs (KOMs) on the day. The 96.3-mile stage has 7,700' of elevation gain, with the journey to the top of Gibraltar featuring a 3,100' climb over the final eight miles of the stage.
As with any of the race stages, routes are subject to change due road damage. With the recent fires and flooding in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, there will likely be changes to a section of the Stage 2 route that passes through Camarillo and Montecito as several bridges are being assessed for repair or replacement.