Los Angeles - The most prestigious road cycling race in the USA will take riders farther than ever before after the Tour of California revealed the full route for this year's edition on Thursday.
The seven-stage men's race, which begins on May 12 in Sacramento, will cover 1 244km and gain more than 68 000 feet in elevation.
More than half the stages will cover at least 193km, and the sixth stage could produce the overall winner when riders reach the popular summit of Mt. Baldy.
The three-stage women's race, which begins on May 16, covers most of the same routes as the men's stages. It also will be the toughest in history at nearly 290km with 20 800 feet in elevation gain.
The Tour of California has emerged as a crucial Tour de France proving ground over the past 14 years with many of the top European riders making the trek to the USA.
Team and rider selections are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.