San Francisco to play bigger role in Tour of California 

click to enlarge San Francisco was the start of a stage for the Tour of California in 2010, but was left out of the race in 2011. The Marina and Presidio will be included in 2012. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo
  • San Francisco was the start of a stage for the Tour of California in 2010, but was left out of the race in 2011. The Marina and Presidio will be included in 2012.

Professional cyclists will zip through the Marina, the Presidio and portions of western San Francisco in this year’s version of the Tour of California, which returns to The City in 2012 after a year’s absence.

Route details of the annual pro cycling event were announced Wednesday, with this year’s version featuring the most extensive coverage of San Francisco since the 2007 event.

Cyclists will start at the Marina Green and travel up to the break wall of the San Francisco Bay before making their way through the Presidio. From there, the cyclists will hook up with the Great Highway and travel southbound out of The City.

Last year, the cycling tour completely skipped over San Francisco. In 2009 and 2010, the tour included through The City, but the riders only traveled down the western portion of San Francisco.

The last time the race featured San Francisco extensively was 2007, when The City was the site for the opening individual time trial.

The 2011 Tour will begin on May 13 in Santa Rosa, home of the three-time champion Levi Leipheimer. The event will conclude in downtown Los Angeles on May 20.

For the first time in the event’s history, cyclists will scale Mt. Diablo in the East Bay, during the Stage 3 competition from San Jose to Livermore.

American Chris Horner is the defending champion of the eight-day bike tour, which started in 2006 and is the nation’s largest cycling competition.

Along with Leipheimer and Horner, fellow American Floyd Landis and Australian Michael Rogers are past champions.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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Monday, Sep 26, 2016

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