Next year's Amgen Tour of California won't be including a dramatic backdrop of Yosemite National Park's famous granite icons.
National Park Service officials last week denied a request by the bicycle tour to have one leg of the race start in Yosemite Valley.
Park officials in Washington, D.C. felt that having 144 bicyclists, support teams and members of the media crowd the park's roads would be a violation of regulations against for-profit races in national parks.
Amgen officials are in the planning stages for the multi-stage race set for May 2012. California's dramatic scenery plays a co-starring role with the world-class racers during the event.
Amgen officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment about the decision.
While the routes for the race have not been announced, it is known it will start in Santa Rosa, the home of three-time champion Levi Leipheimer.
Local golf trio lifts NCGA amateurs to Cup victory
Bryson DeChambeau's 5 and 4 match play victory over Chris Borrego helped the Northern California Golf Association amateurs defeat the NCGA professionals 10½ to 9½ to capture the Hanna Wehrman Cup at Poppy Hills.
Mike Stieler of Coarsegold and Danny Paniccia of Clovis, both of Riverbend GC, joined DeChambeau (Belmont CC) on the amateur squad. Steve Pellegrine of Kingsburg, general manager of River Park Golf Center, played on the pro team.
Paniccia defeated Jeff Anderson 3-2 in his singles match, while Steiler beat Robert Poole 2 and 1. Pellegrine halved his match with Darryl Donovan.
Sunbirds win in volleyball
Jessie Alcorn had 21 kills and Erica Adachi added 22 digs as the No. 8 Fresno Pacific women's volleyball team defeated The Master's 3-1 to improve to 14-6 overall and 10-3 in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
The set scores were 25-18, 18-25, 25-19 and 26-24.
Martina Gregusova had 16 kills, including one that gave the Sunbirds a 25-24 lead in the fourth set. Fresno Pacific then won the match on an attack error.
Mattaliano lifts Sunbirds
Julian Mattaliano scored the winning goal for the second straight match as the Fresno Pacific men's soccer team blanked visiting Westmont 1-0.
The game was scoreless until the 78th minute when Paul Islas served a pass to Mattaliano from the right side. Mattaliano then netted his third goal from point-blank range as the Sunbirds improved to 10-5 overall and 6-2 in the GSAC.
Goalkeeper Steven Waite had a two-save shutout.
Stilson, Ambriz advance in local Punt, Pass, Kick
Clovis' Dakota Stilson and Fresno's Alexandra Ambriz were the top winners at the Central California Section of the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition, held at Fresno's Todd Beamer Park.
Stilson won the boys' 14-15-year-old division with combined marks of 264 feet, 11 inches. Other boys winners included Fresno's Gilbert Cano (246-6 in the 12-13 age group), Fresno's Anthony Zavala (210-3 in 10-11s), Hilmar's David Pressly (140-5 in 8-9s) and Porterville's Ziah Acosta (108-10 in 6-7s).
Ambriz had the day's best effort at 284-1 to win the girls 12-13 division. Other winners included: Tulare's Maria Lopez (147-5 in 10-11) and Fresno's Jusmina Garcia (74-5 in 8-9s).
The winners will participate at the regional level during the Oakland Raiders-Chicago Bears game on Nov. 27.
Former Fresno State star Tommy Mendonca went 0 for 3. He led the Americans with 10 RBIs in the tournament.
The Rams finished at 356, 10 strokes ahead of Canada and well in front of Reedley (390) and West Hills-Lemoore (428). Fresno's Kastyn Sugimoto (84) and Michelle Sribour (85) shot low rounds on the par-72 course.
Pickleball: At the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, Fowler's John Browning captured the gold in men's 70-74 singles. On the women's side, Fresno's Lola Benneyan won gold in women's 70-74 singles and silver in 70-74 doubles.