Tour of California 2012, Stage 1: Tom Danielson Begins Chase For Victory In Santa Rosa

It's time for the 2012 AMGEN Tour of California to start and Garmin-Barracuda's Tom Danielson is out to improve upon his third-place finish in 2011. He and the rest of the field kick things off on Sunday afternoon with a route through Santa Rosa and then out and about in Sonoma County that lasts for 115.9 miles.

After two loops around the city, the cyclists head out to the mountains and then eventually will see the coast line. But this won't just be a scenic route to start the race. This stage will feature a couple of sprint sections as well as four King of the Mountain sections (Cazadero Highway, Ft. Ross Road (twice) and Coleman Valley Road). Ft. Ross Road presents the toughest challenge of the day, reaching a peak elevation of over 1,600 feet (PDF map of elevations).

Check out a full map of this course here.

Stage 1 of the race begins at 11:50 a.m. MT and will close out approximately at 4:49 p.m. MT. NBC Sports Network will have live coverage of the event at 3:00 p.m. MT.

Stick with this Tour of California StoryStream, cycling blog Podium Cafe and the Tour of California's official site for more.

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