Nov 27, 2012 4:04 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

Avila Beach, Santa Barbara to host Tour of California

Race organizers on Tuesday announced the host cities for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, and they include Avila Beach and Santa Barbara.

For the first time, the race will traverse south to north, starting in Escondido and ending in Santa Rosa.

"Taking the Amgen Tour of California from South to North is something we always knew we wanted to do, and we are thrilled with the way things have come together for 2013," said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports. "We think this will bring a whole new element to the competition for the elite cyclists who participate, not to mention some striking California scenery for our worldwide audience. California provides a variety of beautiful yet challenging terrain, helping us achieve our goal of creating a challenging route year after year while showcasing the very best this state has to offer."

Stage 4 starts in Santa Clarita. From there, the cyclists will ride north toward the Pacific Coast and Santa Barbara for the Stage 4 finish. The race remains in Santa Barbara for the start of Stage 5, when the route heads north to Avila Beach for the Stage 5 finish.

The eight-day tour covers roughly 750 miles and will take place May 12-19.

Watch KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m. for more on the race's expected impact on the Central Coast.

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