15 riders to watch at Amgen Tour of California (2.WWT)

 Emma Johansson

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.

@wigglehigh5
@wigglehigh5
 

 Megan Guarnier

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.

th_Megan1
@boelsdolmansct

Marianne Vos

“The Cannibal” is back! Marianne will make her second appearance at the newborn UCI WWT. After finishing ninth at La Fleche Wallonne the Dutch rider will be a key media focus during the eighth UCI WWT round. In her 9 competition days (referring to UCI ranked races only) in 2016, Marianne has shown her great consistency, finishing always in the top 10 (she has won two one-day races too). After her superb performance at the hilly prologue of Elsy Jacobs, Marianne heads to California as one of the top favourites.
@raboliv
@raboliv
Evelyn Stevens
 

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.

@boelsdolmansct
@boelsdolmansct

 

Mara Abbott

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.

@wigglehighfive
@wigglehighfive
Jasmin Glaesser
After a successful performance at Tour of the Gila (finishing in third place overall), Canadian rider Jasmin Glasser heads to California to keep forward momentum. Both Glaesser and Rally Cycling Team will make their debut in the newborn UCI WWT series. She will count with the help of Kirsti Lay, who claimed the QOM classification in the inaugural edition of Amgen Tour of California in 2015.
@rallycycling
@rallycycling

Shara Gillow
 
Individual time trial bronze medal at the World Championships in Richmond, tenth overall at Giro Rosa, twelfth overall at Emakumeen Bira among other great results in 2015. Australian rider heads to the race on a good form after finishing second at Gracia Orlova, the hilly stage race held annually in Czech Republic. She will likely play a lieutenant role at Dutch team Rabobank Liv, where her teammate Marianne Vos as one of the main GC contenders.
@raboliv
@raboliv
Karol-Ann Canuel
 
Despite the fact that Canadian individual time trial champion Karol-Ann Canuel will likely play a supportive role on behalf of her teammates Guarnier and Stevens, she is one of our riders to watch. Canuel seems to be on a good form after delivering great performances during the previous month (she bravely tried to contest Wiggle High5 supremacy during Bira with a solo breakaway). Moreover, she will likely be a key asset for Boels Dolmans during the team time trial.
@boelsdolmansct
@boelsdolmansct
Alena Amialuisik
 
Belarusian rider Alena Amialiusik will lead Canyon SRAM with a clear goal, reediting her teammate Trixi Worrack overall victory in 2015 (Worrack will not participate in the race as she is recovering from the serious crash she suffered in March at Trofeo Alfredo Binda). She will count with the help of Tiffany Cromwell. In inaugural 2015 edition, Amialiusik finished third at the first stage of the race that included a similar Lake Tahoe loop, but a different final climb. Belarusian Amialiusik heads to California after delivering great performances during April, finishing sixth at La Fleche Wallonne and third overall at Gracia Orlov (where she won a stage but could not reedit her previous year victory).
Alena @wmncycling.com
@Tino Pohlmann
Kristin Armstrong 
Twice and current ITT Olympic gold winner, former multiple World ITT winner Kristin Armstrong is one of the top riders to watch in California. Kristin Armstrong currently sits in second position at the Women USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) after winning Redlands Bicycle Classic and finishing second at Tour of the Gila. Thus, Armstrong heads to California on a good form in her “final” Olympic year.
@Brian Hodes/VeloImages Felt
@Brian Hodes/VeloImages Felt
 
Doris Schweizer
Swiss rider Doris Schweizer heads to California after delivering great performances the previous month in Spain at Emakumeen Bira, where she finished in tenth place overall and won the QOM classification. At the previous UCI WWT round Doris played a supportive role for her teammate Sheyla Gutiérrez. Now she will have the opportunity to shine at the Californian race.
@cylanceprocycling
@cylanceprocycling

 

Alison Tetrick
Despite Alison may not be one of the GC contenders, she will be a media focus during the race. The Californian rider will likely play a supportive role at the Amgen Tour of California both at hilly stages (for her teammates Ratto and Schweizer) and during the TTT, where she will be a very valuable asset for Californian team Cylance Pro Cycling. Moreover, Tetrick will likely fight to get in the breakaways in her home state.
@cylanceprocycling
@cylanceprocycling
 
Dani King
In the span of about twelve months current Olympic team pursuit champion (along with Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell) Dani King suffered first a life-threatening crash (that occurred during training in November 2014) and secondly the disappointment of not being preselected for defending her TP title. She outstandingly recovered becoming an all-rounded super-domestique for her Wiggle High5 teammates. Despite the fact that she will likely play a supportive role in California, Dani may be a key show maker either being part of some decisive breakaways or leading the race on behalf of her teammates. Furthermore, she will be an important rider for the TTT in Folsom.
@wigglehigh5
@wigglehigh5
 
Katie Hall
 
American rider Katie Hall finished in fourth place at the first edition of the race. Hall had a good start of the season reediting her 2015 victory at Mirador del Potrero and claiming the overall victory at Tour de San Luis too. After a somehow disappointing block of European races she was back on track at Tour of the Gila two weeks ago, where she finished in sixth overall and second at QOM classification just behind Mara Abbott. Katie will count with the help of World champion Linda Villumsen (not only at the  TTT but also at the hilly stages) who is on a good form and will likely share leader duties with Hall.
@uhc
@uhc
 Lex Albrecht
Canadian rider Lex Albrecht finished ninth overall in 2015 at the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. Despite in 2016 Albrecht has not very impressive results so far, she has been very active in some races such as in Fleche Wallonne, where she was part of the early breakaway and passed first on the hills at the Belgian classic. Either fighting for the QOM classification or hunting a stage on a breakaway Lex Albrecht will be one of the riders to watch in California.
@bepink
@bepink

Written by:
Diego Martín

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