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Tour of California has its stages set

February 12, 2010 | 12:49 pm

The final leg for the eight-stage Amgen Tour of California this year will be coming home in a sense, starting and ending in Thousand Oaks, where the race’s title sponsor is based, AEG announced Friday.

The largest cycling event in the U.S., the 800-mile Tour will be held May 16 to 23 (as opposed to February) and again have a top field, including Lance Armstrong and three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer.

Other new cities include Bakersfield in Stage 5 and scenic Big Bear Lake in Stage 6. Stage 1 travels from Nevada City to Sacramento. See the full north-to-south route here.

That final 84-mile leg includes gentle rolling hills of Agoura, the climb up Mullholland Highway, with its numerous switchbacks, and then a twisting descent back onto Westlake Boulevard.

-- Debbie Goffa