The 2011 Amgen Tour of California moves into the Central Valley today as stage three takes the riders 121.9 miles from Auburn to Modesto. The stage starts at 10:15am pacific time with an estimated finished time of 3:07-3:31pm. This route will feature sprints in Folsom, Ione, and Oakdale. You can view a map of the scheduled route in THIS PDF at the Tour website.
Stage three features no King Of the Mountains, which makes it one of the last stages for the sprinters to showcase their speed at the finish line. Auburn is known as the "Endurance Sports Capitol of the World," so it is fitting that arguably one of the fastest stages of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California will start there. Endurance would normally be a significant issue given the sprinting, but it will be interesting to see how endurance is impacted after yesterday's shortened stage, following Sunday's cancelled stage. Riders would have gone 250+ miles at this point, but instead they've only raced 70+ miles.
After a neutral start section through Old Town Auburn, the race will go live and head south through downtown Folsom. The next 100 miles will head through central California as the race passes through "Gold Country." The historic town of Ione (founded in 1849) will serve as the first Sprint location of Stage 3. Continuing south, the route will then pass by the shores of Lake Camanche. The second Sprint of Stage 3 will be in Oakdale, and from there it will be a fast 17 miles to the start of two circuit laps in downtown Modesto.
You can view a preview video of Stage 3 below: