Preview of the 2018 Amgen Tour StageGibraltar Road returns as a mountaintop finish in the Amgen Tour of California. For years local cyclists wanted the Tour to tackle this challenging Hors Categorie climb and were thrilled when the Tour came to Gibraltar in 2016.
|This shot of the Pacific Ocean was |
taken from Gibraltar Road
Stage 2 will begin in Ventura, the Ventura County seat, for the first time and then pass through Oxnard and Camarillo for the second time. This is the flat portion of the stage. Very flat, if there are 500 feet of elevation gain, the bulk of that would be highway overpasses. At that time of the afternoon, there should be a general tailwind, a 5 to 10 mph sea breeze.
Once through Camarillo, the climbing will not end for the rest of the stage. The peloton will tackle Balcom Canyon Road, fortunately, they will be going up the short side (with 13% grade). Normally, the route goes in the opposite direction, where the grade is 20%. There is nothing like going a 12% grade and seeing the asphalt tilt higher in front of you. This is where you wish you just one more gear.
From there the peloton passes through Santa Paula and will proceed up Hwy. 150, the annual route chosen for the Tour. The peloton will climb up 8 miles up from downtown Santa Paula. Four miles into this climb, they will pass the spot where the Thomas Fire began in early December 2017, the largest wildfire in California history. You will see the damage along both sides of the road and up the hillsides.
|Lake Casitas from the top of East|
Here the Tour organizers and California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) have some work to do. The flooding that followed the fires damaged the most of the bridges along the route.
|Bridge on Hwy 150 at Toro Canyon|
|Who needs gaurdrails? Gibraltar Road|