This stage has seen legends made and winners decided. After four consecutive stages averaging 130 miles per day, the riders would normally look forward to a 79-mile stage with only three climbs…but not with Mt. Baldy looming! This “Queen Stage” is compared to the epic stages of the European Grand Tours. It is very possible that the winner of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California will be decided on the final 15 switchbacks to the Mt. Baldy finish.
A return to the mountaintop finish that thrilled so many fans in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017, this is the top training ground for many Southern California racers. Only a handful have done the entire route, but after the 2017 race, this is now one of hottest Strava segments in the U.S.
This will be the fourth time the City of Ontario has hosted the men’s Mt. Baldy stage, and the first time the women will contest it. The race will begin at the Citizens Bank Arena. Because of the complexities of men’s and women’s races sharing an “out and back” course, the women will use a slightly different route to Mt. Baldy. The final 20.5 miles of their course is the same to reach the common finish.
This year’s route will head north into the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Upland. From there, the riders will start an 11-mile climb to the Village of Mt. Baldy. After an acute left, the racers will face another mile of climbing up Glendora Ridge Road to the first of three monster KOMs. They will cover 12 miles of narrow and twisting roads that lead to a fast and technical descent down the backside of Glendora Mountain Road. Riders and fans alike can expect spectacular vistas throughout the Angeles National Forest. Another descent down East Fork will take the riders to Highway 39 and the town of Azusa. Heading east, they’ll race through the outskirts of Glendora.
A left turn onto the locally infamous Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) will invite the peloton to a grueling 9-mile climb to the second KOM of the day followed by 12 miles of a slight climb back to Mt. Baldy Village. A left turn back onto Mt. Baldy Road will see the race gain 1,000‘ in three miles, before the real climbing has even started! At Ice House Canyon, the route will make a hard left turn where the sign to the ski area points toward the sky. Over the next 2.5 miles, the riders will face 10 switchbacks on a road that is so steep the team busses cannot make it to the top. With 1.2 miles to go, the road will straighten out but still climb at 15%. At .25 miles to go, the route will make a hard left and the racers will face the final five switchbacks to the finish line.
M: 79.2 miles / 127.5 km W: 46 miles / 74 km
KOMs: 3 QOMs: 2
Elevation Gain: 14,040’ Elevation Gain: 8,416
Sprints: San Antonio Heights, Glendora Sprints: Glendora