Big-name cyclists poised to start California's tour of state

The 780-mile Tour of California, the largest US cycling event, will attract an unusual amount of attention when it begins nine successive days of racing in Sacramento Saturday. That's because among the 17 participating teams are two of the most prominent riders in the sport: Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis. Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who has come out of retirement, is making this his first road race on American soil in 3-1/2 years. Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, is returning to the sport after completing a two-year ban for illegal doping. The race schedule, with the site of each day's tire-to-tire or time-trial competition and the distance the cyclists will cover:

  • Feb. 14/Prologue: Sacramento (2.4 miles)
  • Feb. 15/Stage 1: Davis to Santa Rosa (107.6)
  • Feb. 16/Stage 2: Sausalito to Santa Cruz (115.9)
  • Feb. 17/Stage 3: San Jose to Modesto (104.2)
  • Feb. 18/Stage 4: Merced to Clovis (115.4)
  • Feb. 19/Stage 5: Visalia to Paso Robles (134.3)
  • Feb. 20/Stage 6: Solvang (15)
  • Feb. 21/Stage 7: Santa Clarita to Pasadena (88.9)
  • Feb. 22/Stage 8: Rancho Bernardo to Escondido (96.8)
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