Details of stage 3 of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California are starting to become available. Last year's stage from Sausalito to Santa Cruz looked to be shortened for 2010 as the stage will start on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In order to make up some of the reduced distance and give the stage a bit more punch, it appears that the 2010 edition of the route will include as least one more major climb, Page Mill Road, and potentially a smaller ascent, Haskins Hill, as well.
The first climb of the stage will be the same as in 2009. Tunitas Creek Road is an 8-mile, 2000-foot ascent with a 1.8 mile stretch mid-climb which averages in the 9% range.
In 2009, the race turned right on Highway 35 and after four miles turned right onto Highway 84 for the fifteen mile, mostly downhill, run back to the coast and Highway 1.
In 2010, it appears that the race will not turn right on Highway 35, but will instead head down into Silicon Valley on Kings Mountain Road, a 4.5-mile, 1500 foot technical descent through California redwoods. At the bottom of the climb, the race will head south for five to seven miles of rolling terrain, the exact route yet to be determined, to the base of Page Mill Road.
Page Mill Road is an 8-mile, 1800-foot climb that is popular with Bay Area cyclists. It is stair stepped in nature with many steep, 10-15%, pitches and even a few flat and downhill sections. Mid-climb is a 3/4-mile stretch which sports consistent grades of 12-15%.
At the top of Page Mill Road, the race will most like continue down Alpine Road, a twisty, technical, seven-mile 1800-foot descent with several very tight turns right at the bottom. From there, the race has two options. It can continue out to the coast on Highway 84 as it did last year, it is about seven flat miles to the coast.
The other option is to climb the two-mile, 600-foot Haskins Hill and follow Pescadero Road out to Highway 1. The descent of Haskins Hill is another high-speed, technical affair. It can be slick at the bottom.
Once in the town of Pescadero, the race can continue out to Highway 1 or it can turn left onto Cloverdale Road and follow that for seven, mostly flat miles out to the coast and Highway 1. Regardless of the route taken, from the top of Page Mill Road, it is about 40 miles to the bottom to the finishing climb of Bonny Doon Road.
The exact route details will be available soon, but it appears that the 2010 version of this stage will contain about 2500-3000' feet of additional climbing over the 2009 edition.