The 2009 route for the he Tour of California was just announced, and a highlight of the tour will be a crossing of the Golden Gate bridge on stage three.
The race will also expand to nine days and one of the aspects left off the press release announcement is that the final stage near San Diego will actually be a mountain top finish, a first for the race. "The final stage is planned to be a mountain stage up Mt. Palomar. Whoever wins the race will have to have legs on the final day," said AEG Sports' president Andrew Messick.
This year the race will also feature a $15,000 women's criterium, run in conjunction with stage 1 in Santa Rosa.
"Organizers of the Amgen Tour of California have released details of the 2009 route, a nine-day, 750-mile course that will travel almost the entire length of California, from Sacramento to Escondido. This year's race is one day and about 100 miles longer than the 2008 route
The February 14-22 race will include a number of new host cities for starts and departures. New cities include Davis, Santa Cruz, Merced, Clovis, Visalia, Paso Robles, Rancho Bernardo and Escondido.
The race will once again feature the important 15-mile Solvang time trial on stage 6. It was in Solvang last year that Levi Leipheimer wrapped up his overall victory, after taking the lead thanks to a stage 3 breakaway with Rabobank's Robert Gesink.
The race opens with a three-mile prologue in Sacramento, followed by a new difficult 108-mile stage 1, from Davis to Santa Rosa."