Stock­ton will host start of Am­gen stage

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Bob High­fill

STOCK­TON — The 14th Am­gen Tour of Cal­i­for­nia will in­clude Stock­ton.

On Wed­nes­day, or­ga­niz­ers of the largest cy­cling event out­side the Tour de France an­nounced its sched­ule for 2019, and Stock­ton was se­lected to host the start of Stage 3 on Wed­nes­day, May 14.

Riders will start at Stock­ton Arena and make a loop of the down­town area be­fore they head south and then west through the Di­ablo Range to the fin­ish in Mor­gan Hill. In 2007, Stock­ton hosted the start to a stage that fin­ished in San Jose and last year, Stock­ton hosted the start to a stage that ended in Elk Grove. Lodi hosted stages in 2015 and 2016.

“For us, it’s just an­other feather in the cap suc­cess be­cause it’s about a sense of pride that it brings to our city,” said Wes Rhea with Visit Stock­ton, which at­tracted the event. “Of course, there’s an eco­nomic im­pact but that’s re­ally not the core rea­son why we go af­ter Am­gen and re­ally want them to do their event in town.

“It re­ally re­volves around what it does in the way of me­dia ex­po­sure and also just as a desti­na­tion that has a sports fo­cus. Do­ing a world-class event like Am­gen just adds to that re­sume of high-qual­ity event pro­duc­tion that we re­ally pride our­selves in.”

The route in Stock­ton in 2019 will be sim­i­lar to the route in 2007, where spec­ta­tors will have an op­por­tu­nity to see some of the most tal­ented and ac­com­plished cy­clists in the world speed from the down­town water­front area.

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