Decision on 2012 Tour de California cities just weeks away

By James Raia, Sacramento Bee

Seeking a spot for the sixth time in the event’s seven-year history, Sacramento has applied to host a stage finish of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California.

But the capital’s involvement is far from assured. Race organizers are considering several route options, including a return to the Bay Area (not included this year) as well as different mountain passes and routes in the Sierra Nevada.

amgen“We’ve submitted a bid with the hope of getting a stage finish,” John McCasey, executive director of the Sacramento Sports Commission, said Thursday. “And we’ll just have to wait and see what our chances are. There are no guarantees. We go into it with eyes wide open. What we are up against is a very creative planning organization such as Medalist (Sports).”

The eight-day race, the country’s largest professional cycling event, will begin May 13 in Santa Rosa, the home of three-time winner and 2011 runner-up Levi Leipheimer.

Davis, which hosted a stage start in 2009 and 2010 and was a pass-through city in 2007 and 2008, has bid for a 2012 stage start. Auburn, Nevada City, Modesto, San Jose and the South Lake Tahoe region also hope to be part of next year’s race.

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