San Jose will play host to the all-important time trial and Mount Diablo will hold a mountaintop finish as the Bay Area has become the centerpiece of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, race organizers announced Tuesday.

San Jose is the only city to participate in all eight events of North America's biggest cycling tour, and is holding a time trial for the second time.

Livermore also is one of 12 participating cities, playing host to the start of Stage 7 that finishes on Diablo.

The 750-mile race starts in Escondido on May 12 and ends in Santa Rosa on May 19 -- the first time the course is traversing south to north. Course details will be announced at a later date.

"Taking the tour from south to north is something we always knew we wanted to do," the race's executive director, Kristin Bachochin, said in a statement. "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."

The final three stages of the eight-day tour will be held in the Bay Area where the race probably will be decided.

San Jose's Stage 6 on May 17 will feature an individual time trial, one of the few stages where elite riders can separate themselves from competitors. Last year's time trial in Bakersfield was 18.4 miles.


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In 2006, Floyd Landis won a 17-mile time trial to take the yellow jersey along a scenic course in south San Jose near Coyote Creek County Park and Calfero Reservoir.

The next day comes a mountaintop finish on Diablo in the penultimate stage. A year ago, Dutch pro Robert Gesink won the race by winning the grueling mountain stage on Mount Baldy.

After holding a finish last year, Livermore will have a start this time. The Livermore city council originally declined to commit $100,000 in funds that race owner AEG required to play host to the stage. But community groups and private sponsors contacted city officials pledging to offset the costs. Officials also met with AEG and worked out additional cost-saving measures.

The city council voted Monday to authorize $35,000 to bid for the stage, which will pay for hotel rooms and meals for riders.

City officials said the weekend stage would allow for more volunteers and less city staff, also reducing costs. The start of the stage, officials said, would likely be held on Second Street to lessen the impact on traffic in the downtown area.

"I think it's a real win for everybody and it's going to be a fantastic festival," Livermore mayor John Marchand said at the council meeting. "This is going to be remarkable."

The tour will end with a scenic stage from San Francisco to Santa Rosa.

Stage 2 goes from Murrieta to greater Palm Springs; Stage 3 from Palmdale to Santa Clarita; Stage 4 from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara, and Stage 5 from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach.

"After growing up in San Diego, I love seeing the race back on the roads I've ridden for the past 25 years," 2011 champion Chris Horner said in a statement.

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For a map of the 2013 Tour of California, go to Page 4