Amgen Tour of California goes on hiatus for 2020
After 14 years, the nation’s premier cycling race is taking a break.
AEG on Tuesday announced plans to put the 2020 Amgen Tour of California on hiatus, a “difficult decision to make” due to what the president of the race called “business fundamentals.”
Since being launched in 2006, Sacramento was a host city 11 times — from 2007 to 2011 and then between 2014 and 2019 — second only to San Jose. It was the only U.S.-based event that has its men’s and women’s races listed on the UCI WorldTour, and showcased top riding talent from numerous international and Olympic events.
“While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race,” said Kristin Klein, president of the race, in press release issued Tuesday. “This new reality has forced us to reevaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021”
The organizers said in the release that the race over 14 years has contributed more than $3.5 billion to the state’s economy.
“On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes,” said Bob Stapleton, chairman of USA Cycling, in the release. “We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”
Sacramento was either the starting point or the finish line over the last six races. The city also served as the race prologue in 2009 and was an early-stage finish point four other times.
This year’s Stage 2 began in Rancho Cordova. Other local cities that have had the tour visit include Auburn (1), Davis (2), Elk Grove (1) and Folsom (3) — as well as nearby Lodi and Stockton.
Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar won this year’s race. American cyclist Levi Leipheimer is the only man with multiple victories, taking it three consecutive years (200709).
The 2018 champion, Egan Bernal of Colombia, didn’t compete this year. He was scheduled to compete in the Giro d’Italia — an Italian race with over 100 editions that ran concurrently with the Tour of California — but he broke his collarbone while training and immediately underwent surgery.