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Tour of California 2012: Chris Barton And Ken Hanson Prepare For Stage One

Tour of California 2012 begins on Sunday. Here's a guide to local riders and teams competing in the most important American-based cycling race of the year.

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The most important cycling race in the U.S. begins this Sunday in Santa Rosa, CA and ends next Sunday in Los Angeles. Tour of California 2012 helps prepare cyclers for the Tour de France that takes place in July. There are two cyclers with L.A. connections that will be competing in the eight-day event.

Stage information:

  • Sunday, May 13--Stage 1--Santa Rosa, CA (Overall Start)
  • Monday, May 14--Stage 2--San Francisco to Santa Cruz County
  • Tuesday, May 15--Stage 3--San Jose to Livermore
  • Wednesday, May 16--Stage 4--Sonora to Clovis
  • Thursday, May 17--Stage 5--Bakersfield (Individual Time Trial)
  • Friday, May 18--Stage 6--Palmdale to Big Bear Lake
  • Saturday, May 19--Stage 7--Ontario to Mt. Baldy
  • Sunday, May 20--Stage 8--Beverly Hills to Los Angeles (L.A. Live) (Overall Finish)

Chris Barton was born in Ojai, CA. He is part of Bissel Pro Cycling, a Bay Area-based team. Ken Hanson was born in Sierra Madre, CA and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA. He will ride under Optum Pro Cycling, a team based in Minneapolis, MN.

The first seven days of the race will be televised on the NBCSports Network, with the final day being televised on NBC. Live coverage of the race can be found on the race's official website, amgentourofcalifornia.com.

For more news and analysis on the Tour of California, head over to SB Nation's cycling blog, Podium Cafe.