Rancho joins the Tour

Rancho Cordova makes six-figure play to join cycling’s largest event for the first time



Sun., May, 12 Stage 1, Sacramento to Sacramento
Mon., May 13, Stage 2, Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe
Tues., May 14, Stage 3, Stockton to Morgan Hill
Wed., May 15, Stage 4, Salinas to Morro Bay
Thurs., May 16, Stage 5, Pismo Beach to Ventura
Fri., May 17, Stage 6, Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Sat., May 18, Stage 7, Santa Clarita to Pasadena


Thurs., May 16, Stage 1, Ventura to Ventura
Fri., May 17, Stage, 2 Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Sat. May 18, Sta ge 3 Santa Clarita to Pasadena

Amgen Tour of California organizers have the same geographical dilemma every year: Which cities will be part of the country’s biggest bike race?

For the first time in the tour’s 14-year history, the city of Rancho Cordova is making the cut.

The weeklong Tour of California will advance 700-plus miles south from Sacramento to Pasadena starting May 12. But on the second day, a tangent will take the race into Rancho Cordova before heading to South Lake Tahoe’s Carson Pass. The 120.5-mile leg will divert the world’s top international teams through the east-county suburb’s hilly terrain, culminating in nearly 15,000 feet of elevation gain.

Rancho Cordova officials approached race organizers Anschutz Entertainment Group following last year’s event. It was announced as a host city in December.

“We’ve been on the periphery of the event for a couple of years now,” said Marc Sapoznik, chairman of the city’s local organizing committee and executive director of Rancho Cordova Travel & Tourism. “We are a bicycle-friendly city and we thought, ’Gosh, maybe there would be an opportunity for us to be involved in this race.’”

Sapoznik said the honor comes with a nearly $100,000 investment. The city will also provide about 100 volunteers and municipal services. Title sponsors will help absorb the city’s costs, Sapoznik said. He thinks the financial investment is prudent.

“Sure, there are room nights [in hotels] associated with the events and there’s economic benefits that comes from the Tour of California, and that’s all great. But we knew that the exposure to the city would help to put us on the map, not only nationally but internationally,” he said. “There’s no other event that takes place in this region that can give us that kind of exposure.”

Elk Grove, Folsom and Davis have also been among race hosts. Farther afield, Auburn, Lodi, Nevada City, Santa Rosa and Stockton have welcomed a stage start or finish.

Stage 2 starts at 9:30 a.m. May 13 at Rancho Cordova City Hall, which will also host a free lifestyle festival that morning.