Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race Preview (2.WWT)

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Two weeks after the inaugural stage race of the UCI WWT at Chongming Island, it is now turn for California, USA. The second edition of Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race will witness the eighth round of the UCI Women’s World Tour, and both the second stage race of the newborn series and the second round outside European soil.

On Thursday, May 19th Lake Tahoe, California will be again the center of women’s cycling holding the eighth round of the UCI WWT series. Live tracking will be available and website video highlights will be available on a daily basis.

Amgen Tour of California Women’s Races cycling races have been held since 2008. Firstly a criterium one-day race was held  under national ranking together but it was later replaced in 2011 by an individual time trial, which was held under national ranking with the only exception of the 2015 edition. It was in 2015 when the first time that the Amgen Women’s Stage Race was held.

Unfortunately Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM), previous winner of the stage race, will not participate in this edition of race. Worrack was one of key show makers of the previous edition of the race.

The brave and experienced German national champion is still recovering from the serious crash she suffered at Trofeo Alfredo Binda, where she suffered a ruptured kidney, broken rib, large haematoma and a life threatening amount of blood loss.

UCI WWT Race Schedule:

1. Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16

The current British, Commonwealth and World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) won last Saturday the second edition of Strade Bianche Women Elite, the first race ever of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, covering 121km from Siena to Siena. On the final climb to the finish line Lizzie overtook her breakaway partners, European champion Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabobank Liv) and Swedish rider Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5).

2. Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe,  NED – 12/03/16

Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) won last Saturday the second event of the UCI WWT, the Ronde van Drenthe, covering 138.3km from Hoogeveen to Hoogeveen. On the final sprint she overtook her breakaway partners, Australian rider Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), German rider Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM) and Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv).

3. Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio, ITA – 20/03/2016

Current world champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won in Cittiglio, repeating the feat that she achieved at the 2015 edition. After being dropped from the six-rider chasing group at the fourth Orino climb, the defending champion came back to the group and hastily launched an attack that was intended to set up her teammate Megan Guarnier for victory. However, nobody reacted to Armitstead’s powerful move and resulted to be the race winning move. Her teammate Megan Guarnier sprinted for the second place, while Jolanda Neff (Servetto Footon), who had aggressively attack and led the race over the final kilometres of the course, finished in third place.

4. Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16

Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) soloed to her second UCI WWT victory at Gent-Wevelgem. The Dutch rider slipped away from the seventeen-rider breakaway with around 10km to the finish line. Despite her compatriot van Vleuten efforts, Blaak immediately gained a gap that was never closed. She reached the finish line with over a minute advantage ahead of a seven-rider chasing group.

5. Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16

Current world champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won in Oudenaarde, East Flanders continuing Boels Dolmans outstanding winning streak. It was her first victory in her third participation at Ronde van Vlaanderen. The reigning road world, Commonwealth and national champion got away with Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) just after the Oude Kwaremont and the duo managed to stay away from the eight-rider chasing group. Despite the chasing efforts of four riders at the chasing group, Emma and Lizzie had respectively one and three teammates at the group that obviously did not collaborate on the chase, the two riders were able to maintain their gap until the finish line. In a very close sprint the British rider defeated the Swedish.                                            

6. La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15

Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv) reedit her victory at the top of Mur de Huy. The Dutch rider broke away with 2012 Flèche Wallonne winner Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) between the race’s penultimate climb (Côte de Cherave) and the final climb to the finish line in Huy. Despite the fact that Stevens sat on van der Breggen’s wheel during their breakaway, van der Breggen distanced Stevens in the final 150 meters to the finish. American road champion Megan Guarnier rounded out the podium, finishing 20 seconds behind the Dutch winner.

7. Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – 06/05/16 al 08/05/16

Australian rider Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5) won in Chongming, Shanghai the seventh round of the UCI WWT. It was her first overall victory in her seventh participation at the Chinese stage race (she finished second in 2013 behind Nettie Edmondson). It was her first win ever as well as for her team, Wiggle High5, at the newborn UCI WWT.  Ting Ying Huang (Chinese Taipei) and Leah Kirchmann (Liv Plantur) completed the podium, 1 and 5 seconds behind the Australian rider respectively.

8. Amgen Tour of California, USA – 19/05/16 al 22/05/16
9. Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
10. Aviva Womens Tour, GBR – 15/06/16 al 19/06/16
11. Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – 01/07/16 al 10/07/16
12. La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
13. Prudential Ride London, GBR – 30/07/15
14. Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
15. Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
16. GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
17. LA MADRID CHALLENGE By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16

 

UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking

1 Elizabeth Armitstead Boels Dolmans 368
2
Chantal Blaak Boels Dolmans 343
3   Megan Guarnier Boels Dolmans 325
35 [ESP] Sheyla Gutiérrez Cylance Pro Cycling 40

UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking

1 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv  24
2 Floortje Mackaij Liv Plantur 12
3 Jip van den Bos Parkhotel Valkenburg 10

Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking

1 Boels Dolmans 1262
2 Wiggle High5 845
3 Rabobank Liv 733

 

Programme 

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From Thursday, May 19th until Sunday, May 22nd

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A total of 18 teams and 106 riders will participate in this edition of Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race. Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance) will be our only Spanish representative at the eight UCI WWT round.

1st stage: South Lake Tahoe – South Lake Tahoe: 117 km Local Time: 10:50 am to 14:00 pm approx. (UTC-7)

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Similarly to the first stage of the previous edition of the race, the first stage will consist of a full clockwise loop of Lake Tahoe. It will a very tough stage (with just under 1,400 meters of cumulative elevation), mainly due to its high-altitude stage course (persistently above 1,900 meters above sea level). The course will include an intermediate sprint and two QOM climbs, the first one with roughly 100 kilometres to go while the second one will the final climb to the finish line at South Lake Tahoe.

Our favourite:   Emma Johansson  Our outsider:   Megan Guarnier

2nd stage (TTT): Folsom – Folsom: 20.3 km Local Time: 10:30 am to 12:05 pm approx. (UTC-7)

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The second stage of Amgen Women’s Tour will likely be its most crucial stage, the Team Time Trial (TTT). The teams will race on the same time trial course as the men, out and back from downtown Folsom. Cumulative elevation around 250 meters.

Our favourite:  Boels Dolmans  Our outsider:  Rabobank-Liv 

3rd stage: Santa Rosa – Santa Rosa: 111 km Local Time: 9:15 am to 12:15 pm approx. (UTC-7)

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Similarly to the first stage, the third one will feature another long road course loop. One intermediate sprint will be awarded together with two QOM climbs, the first one with 90 kilometres to go and the second one (a very steep climb, 2.5 kilometres at 9.7% average) with 50 kilometres to go. As in the first stage cumulative elevation will be around 1,400 meters. Thus, the stage may end with a sprint of a reduced group or a breakaway.

Our favourite:  Marianne Vos  Our outsider:  Lisa Brennauer

4th stage: Sacramento – Sacramento: 70 km Local Time: 11:40 am to 13:24 pm approx. (UTC-7)

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As in the previous edition of the race, Sacramento will witness the final stage of the Tour. A 20-lap race course will likely end up with a bunch sprint.

Our favourite:   Kirsten Wild  Our outsider:  Kimberley Wells

Favourites & Outsiders

Imagen Imagen   Emma Johansson,  Megan Guarnier,  Marianne Vos
Imagen  Evelyn Stevens,  Mara Abbott,  Jasmin Glaesser

Imagen   Shara Gillow,  Karol-Ann Canuel,  Alena Amialuisik,  Kristin Armstrong 
Imagen   Doris Schweizer,  Alison Tetrick,  Dani King,  Katie Hall,  Lex Albrecht

Betting area

Our favourite:  Megan Guarnier
Our outsider:   Shara Gillow

Who to watch

15 top riders to watch

Participants

Startlist

Previous edition

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@ Jonathan Devich / epicimages.us

German national champion Trixi Worrack (Velocio SRAM) won Amgen Tour of California last year, the first edition of the race under UCI ranking. Worrack won three out of four intermediate sprints on the final stage securing a six-seconds advantage over the previous leader of the race American rider Lauren Komanski (Twenty16), who finished third overall. Canadian rider Leah Kirchmann (Optum Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished in second place only five seconds behind Worrack. American rider Lauren Hall (UnitedHealthCare) won the first stage of the race, while Canadian rider Leah Kirchmann won the following two stages.

A few days after the stage race, an individual time trial one-day stage was held in Santa Clarita (despite it was initially to planned to be held in Big Bear Lake). Current World HR holder Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) won the one-day race.

Highlights of 2015 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race

Results


Live tracking

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Twitter coverage

A few Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow the race (among others):

Post race highlights 

  • Thursday, May 19th, 1st stage 9:00 p.m. (UTC-7) on Web, and APP
  • Friday, May 20th, 2nd stage 9:00 p.m. (UTC-7) on Web, and APP
  • Saturday, May 21st, 3rd stage 9:00 p.m. (UTC-7) on Web, and APP
  • Sunday, May 22nd, 4th stage 9:00 p.m. (UTC-7) on Web, and APP

Thursday, May 26th, Amgen Women’s Race Highlights from 10.30 pm until 12 am (UTC-7) on NBCSN

Sources

Official website
PCS
UCI
WomenCyclingFever

Written by:
Diego Martín

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