Tour of California
|2016 Tour of California|
|Date||May (Formerly in February)|
|Region||California, United States|
|Competition||UCI World Tour|
|Editions||11 (as of 2016)|
|First winner||Floyd Landis (USA)|
|Most recent||Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)|
The Tour of California (officially known as the Amgen Tour of California for sponsorship purposes) is an annual professional cycling stage race on the UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Professional Tour. It was first held in 2006. The eight-day race covers 650–700 miles (1,045–1,126 km) through the U.S. state of California. A typical edition might begin in Nevada City, travel through the redwoods, wine country and the Pacific Coast, and finish in a southern California city such as Escondido. The 2009 race crossed the Central Valley from Merced to Fresno, with an excursion through the Sierra Nevada foothills, before crossing over to the coast. The tour is sponsored by Amgen, a large California-based biotech company.
With eight or nine of the 20 UCI ProTour teams (known as ProTeams) usually racing, the Tour of California is one of the most important cycling races in the United States, along with the Tour of Utah. On November 28, 2006, the UCI upgraded it from 2.1 (category 1) to 2.HC (French: Hors categorie; English: beyond category), the highest rating for races on the UCI Continental Circuits and one of only four such stage races in the United States. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Tour of Utah were the only other current 2.HC being raced as of 2015. On August 2, 2016, the UCI upgraded the race to World Tour status and added it to the 2017 UCI World Tour schedule. 
The race was originally staged in February but, the 2010 Tour of California was moved to May, the same time that the Giro d'Italia is held. At the time of the move it was considered likely that the number of Americans in the Giro and Italians in the Tour of California would decrease. Tour of California organizers sought to make the race a preparatory event for the Tour de France, believing few riders who seek a serious position in the Tour would ride the Giro. Since the change in schedule, the race has continued to be held in May.
- 1 General Classification Results
- 2 Records and Jerseys
- 2.1 Most Stage Victories
- 2.2 Most Days in Leader's Jersey
- 2.3 Sprints Classification
- 2.4 Mountains Classification
- 2.5 Best Young Rider Classification
- 2.6 Teams Classification
- 2.7 Most Courageous Rider Classification
- 3 Doping controversy
- 4 References
- 5 External links
General Classification Results
The leader and overall winner by time after each stage and at the conclusion of the race wears a Yellow Jersey. Originally the leader's jersey was gold, a reference to the California Gold Rush, but in 2009 the jersey color was changed to yellow.
Records and Jerseys
Most Stage Victories
Most Days in Leader's Jersey
The leader and overall winner by points from intermediate and final sprints wears the Green Jersey.
Most Days in Green Jersey
The leader and overall winner by points in mountain climbs is awarded the Red Jersey (Orange in the past, before 2009) and is known as the race's King of the Mountains or "KOM."
Best Young Rider Classification
The leader and overall winner by time for riders under 23 is awarded the White Jersey. Before 2009, this jersey was silver and blue.
Best Young Rider Winners
Most Days in Youth Jersey
Teams are classified based on the total time of the team's top three finishers in each stage.
Best Team Winners
Most Courageous Rider Classification
The Blue Jersey is given to the most courageous rider at the end of each stage. In 2008, the jersey was red. George Hincapie has won this jersey three times, after stages in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Jan Bárta won the award twice during the 2011 edition. No one else has won this jersey more than once.
The main sponsor of the event, Amgen, is the producer of the medical drug Erythropoietin, also called EPO. EPO is often used as a performance-enhancing drug by professional cyclists. Former professional cyclists that admitted their doping like Tyler Hamilton claim that for some time, most of the worlds top cyclists consumed EPO.
A plan to perform comprehensive anti-doping tests for the Tour 2011 was terminated by the UCI. The plan was to do blood tests performed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which would have been able to detect EPO, but the UCI and the USADA couldn't agree on the details of the doping tests. For the 2013 edition, the UCI elected to reintroduce testing based on the biological passport, as USADA would also take care of pre-race testing, but with no cooperation between the two agencies.