Stage 3 Route: San Francisco to Santa CruzSanta Cruz race to end at Beach Boardwalk.
The pro cyclists racing in the 2010 Tour of California will enjoy some of the best road cycling in the Bay Area when they ride the signature climbs of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties on May 12.
The race will start at 11:15 AM on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Assuming the highway hasn't washed into the Pacific Ocean by then, the racers cycle south on Highway 1, hanging a left after Half Moon Bay to climb Tunitas Creek Road and past the Tunitas Creek Bike Hut in a near carbon copy of the 2009 Stage 2. After skirting past the bicycle friendly community of Woodside, they ride past La Honda and Pescadero as they return to the Coast Highway.
Another climb up Bonny Doon Road south of Davenport takes the cyclists into the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, before the cyclists turn onto Empire Grade Road for the thrilling, 60+ mph descent past the UCSC campus into Santa Cruz. Here's the view coming down Empire Grade.
Unlike last year, the racers will continue straight on Bay Street to West Cliff Drive for a finish at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which will be really cool, I think. Local Santa Cruz organizers were concerned about the railroad tracks in the street next to the Boardwalk, so I'm glad they have something worked out for this.