18 May 15 riders to watch at Amgen Tour of California (2.WWT)
Emma is again one of the top favourites to watch at Amgen Tour of California. The Swedish rider currently leads the UCI Ranking and sits in fourth place at UCI WWT Ranking (she is only 43 points behind current leader Lizzie Armitstead and is tied with American rider Megan Guarnier). Thus, she heads to Amgen Tour of California aiming for a victory that could make her jump on the UCI WWT ranking, contesting Boels Dolmans top-3 supremacy. Johansson has persistently performed well this season so far and has claimed three victories at Emakumeen Bira, where she won both two stages and overall classification. Despite previous Wiggle High5 empathy problems, the British team will be a strong squad for the second stage (TTT). Moreover, the first and third stages really suit Emma’s characteristics.
US national champion, bronze medal at the World Championships in Richmond, third at the Giro Rosa and winner of the 2015 Strade Bianche, Megan Guarnier is one of the top favourites. Megan’s great performances have been somehow shadowed by her teammates outstanding winning streak in the first five UCI WWT rounds. She has shown her great form the previous month both in Spain, where she won Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria and one stage of Emakumeen Bira as well as finishing second overall, and in Belgium, finishing third in Huy. Megan currently sits on third place at UCI WWT ranking, tied with Swedish rider Emma Johansson. Thus, she will try to win, defending her supremacy at the newborn series.
Current World HR holder Evelyn Stevens is one of top riders to watch in California. Stevens has had a slow start of the road racing year, mainly due to her HR attempt in February, but has shown recently that she is on a good form. Stevens delivered some good performances at Emakumeen Bira (where she finished eighth overall) before heading to Belgium for La Fleche Wallonne, where she narrowly missed the victory, finishing second behind Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen.
Twice winner of the Giro d’Italia overall and six stage victories on her palmares. In 2015 she won the last stage of the Giro Rosa and finished second overall. Mara is one the best and most experienced climbers in the peloton. She heads to California on a good form after reediting her 2015 victory at Tour of the Gila two weeks ago. Previously she rode at Redlands Bicycle Classic where she amazingly finished in second place after crashing and sustaining serious injuries on her shoulder.