Cylance opt out of Tour of California Women's Race

American team chooses to compete at Emakumeen Bira

American team Cylance Pro Cycling have opted to skip the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race citing an overlap with Emakumeen Bira on the 2018 Women's WorldTour as the main reason.

"Our reasons for not participating at Tour of California are similar to Boels Dolmans," team owner Omer Kem told Cyclingnews. "Our sponsor is focused on European brand growth, there is a WorldTour event in Spain happening immediately following the Tour of California, and we don't have enough staff and riders to cover two races at basically the same time.

"It was a difficult decision but our priority is always to do what's best for our sponsors."

The Tour of California (May 17-19) is held a week later this year and overlaps by one day with the Emakumeen Bira (May 19-22). The Spanish stage race has been around for 30 years but it is a new addition to the Women's WorldTour.

Defending champion Anna van der Breggen and Boels Dolmans, the top team in the world, told Cyclingnews last week that they will not be attending the US event because they are short staffed and don't have the resources to compete in both stage races. They have chosen to compete at the Emakumeen Bira.

Organisers of the Tour of California announced the teams that will be participating in the event last week. Events that are part of the Women's WorldTour are obliged to invite the top 15 ranked UCI Women's Teams and must accept entries from these teams that have responded positively to an invitation.

Of the teams confirmed to participate in this year's race, four are from the top 15 ranking; Sunweb, Canyon-SRAM, Wiggle High5 and Astana Women.

Organisers can also extend invitations to two national teams (one from the country hosting the event and one invitation to a foreign national team), and the remaining teams must be UCI Women's Teams, which in this case, opens up spots for teams outside of the top 15 ranking.

The teams that will participate in this year's race include American outfits Hagens Berman-Supermint Pro Cycling, Rally Cycling, Team Illuminate, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, Twenty20 Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare. In addition, Swapit/Agolico Cycling Pro Team, BePink and Trek-Drops will be racing.

The USA Cycling National Team will field former winner Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) and could include some of the American riders from Cylance, although the rosters have not been confirmed. The Mexican National Team will also be on the start line.

"We hope to return to the Tour of California in 2019, if there are no conflicts with European events," Kem said. "We also wish Tour of California all the best for the 2018 event."

Cylance began their season in Australia an continued with a full spring Classics campaign with top-10 performances at Le Samyn des Dames and Driedaagse De Panne. They will also field a team at the Ardennes Classics; Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

They will also be competing at the Tour of Chongming Island (April 26-28) before returning to Spain to race Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria (May 17), Emakumeen Bira and Ovo Emergy Women's Tour (June 13-17) leading up to the Giro Rosa (July 6-15).

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