SAN FRANCISCO TO APTOS
Cycling fans who love the electric feel of race starts will be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Stage 2 start of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California in San Francisco. Beginning at Marina Green in San Francisco’s Marina District, the start line will run right to the break wall of San Francisco Bay. The backdrop? Breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Marin Headlands. However, the riders’ stay in the great city of San Francisco will be short-lived because within a few minutes, the race will have passed through the Presidio with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. From here, Stage 2 will continue south on Highway 1 through the San Francisco suburbs of Pacifica and Daly City.
Making its way down the Devil’s Slide, north of Half Moon Bay, the peloton will enjoy the most spectacular coastline in the world. The stage will then turn inward and start the assault up Bonny Doon, which, in previous editions of the race, has determined the winner of the stage.
With the stage finish moving to Aptos this year, the riders will face another 42 miles of racing and another KOM. The last several miles of the stage are downhill, followed by a short run down Soquel Avenue to the finish. Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California will certainly be a long and difficult stage, but it won’t be a surprise to see a large pack of riders contest the finish in an exciting Sprint in the small sea side city just south of Santa Cruz.