PALMDALE TO BIG BEAR
After a hiatus during the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, Big Bear Lake is back on the race map, challenging riders to face a daunting Stage 6, which will feature the first of the race’s “Daily Double”: Big Bear Climb and Mt. Baldy. If the 2010 route was a killer, this slightly toned down route will be a crusher. Stage 6 will be all about strategy as the riders will still be feeling the sting of the Bakersfield Time Trial from the day before. Will riders leave it all on the mountain climbs on Friday in hopes they can survive the brutal ascent to Mt. Baldy on Saturday? Or will they match the move of their nearest rivals and let Mt. Baldy decide the ultimate winner of the Amgen Leader Jersey? Or will there be a standout star that is capable of attacking both the Big Bear Climb and Mt. Baldy?
After a cruise down historic Sierra Highway, the racers will head into the Angeles National Forest. After a short stretch on Angeles Forest Highway, the route will turn onto Mt. Emma Road. Following the first climb of the day and then a descent to Fort Tejon Road, the first KOM at Mountain High ski area will be reached via a 12-mile climb to a 7,000-foot summit at Angeles Crest Highway. There will be a brief respite as the riders descend into Wrightwood and then over to Highway 138. The route will once again go vertical as it passes through Crestline and Lake Arrowhead, and then onto the Rim of the World Highway. Entering the Big Bear area, the riders will take the northern route around Big Bear Lake and then tackle the last ascent to the finish at a more than 7,000-foot elevation at the Snow Summit ski area.