Starting on the northern side of the San Francisco Bay, Stage 1 will cover nearly 160km from Sausalito to Santa Rosa.
The stage, sponsored by Herbalife, begins with a climb from Mill Valley up to Mt. Tamalpais State Park before turning toward Muir Beach. The relatively flat route will take the riders north toward Bodega Bay and Coleman Valley Road, a landmark climb in Northern California. Spectators can watch the stage win unfold as the field heads downhill from Occidental for three finishing circuit laps in downtown Santa Rosa - the site of last year's massive pile-up and controversial decision by the referees to award leader and hometown hero Levi Leipheimer the same time as the winners.