There will be no Amgen Tour of California in 2020, race organizers AEG announced on Tuesday.
An announcement on AEG’s website stated that the race will go “on hiatus” for 2020. Organizers continue to asses the viability of re-starting Tour of California in 2021.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race. This new reality has forced us to re-evaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021.”
The American stage race has run since 2006. At the time of its hiatus, the Tour of California was the only U.S.-based event with a spot on both the men’s and women’s UCI WorldTour calendar. It was also the only event to concurrently hold stage races that offered equal prize money to men and women. The Women’s Tour of California, though, was only three stages compared to the 7-day men’s race.
USA Cycling’s Chairman, Bob Stapleton, thanked the organizers for their efforts in producing Tour of California for over a decade. “On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes.” Stapleton also expressed his support for bringing the race back in the future, adding, “We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”
The Tour of California helped develop a number of North American cyclists into professional riders. It wasn’t just U.S. riders that benefited from having the WorldTour-level stage race, either. A number of Canadians have developed into professional riders in part due to the opportunities and visibility the Tour of California presents. Most recently, the event helped the Canadian-heavy roster of Rally UHC graduate to UCI Continental level status.
Amgen Tour of California attracted the world’s top professionals to race in North America, including multiple-time world champion Peter Sagan, who has 17 Tour of California stage wins to his name, and women’s Olympic gold medallist and world champion Anna van der Breggen.
Other past winners include Sir Bradley Wiggins, Egan Bernal, Levi Leiphimer and Tejay van Garderen. Mark Cavendish currently holds 10 Tour of California stage wins, the most behind Sagan.