Organisers of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM have announced the 18 teams that will participate in the four-day race from May 19-22. Organisers also confirmed three marquee riders; US road champion Megan Guarnier, women's UCI Hour Record holder Evelyn Stevens, and two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Kristin Armstrong.
The Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will be the first of two US events, along with Philly Cycling Classic in June, on the inaugural Women’s WorldTour. The race is also important because it will give riders an opportunity to build points for their nations ahead of the Olympic Games.
As a stage race on the Women’s WorldTour calendar, organisers were obliged to invite the top 15 teams on the UCI world ranking.
As such, the number one ranked women’s team, Wiggle High5, will be on the start line.
Newly crowned women’s UCI Hour Record holder and last year’s time trial winner Stevens will lead her Boels Dolmans team alongside US road champion Guarnier.
“The organizers of the Amgen Tour of California work extremely hard to get a top-level field,” said Danny Stam, Director Sportif for Boels Dolmans. "The combination of the men’s and women’s races will create a wonderful experience for the spectators while increasing the exposure for the women’s teams. Boels Dolmans is planning on bringing a strong team including two top American riders – we will aim high and give the best performance we have.”
Other teams among the top 15 in the world invited to participate in the race are Rabo Liv, Canyon-SRAM, Hitec Products, Cylance Pro Cycling, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, UnitedHealthcare and BePink.
Teams are allowed to decline an invitation and as such teams among the top 15 in the world that are not on the list are Cervelo Bigla, Orica-AIS, Team Liv-Plantur, Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86, BTC City Ljubljana and Astana Women’s team.
This has opened the door for US-based UCI teams Colavita-Bianchi p/b Vittoria, Hagens Berman-Supermint, Rally Cycling, Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling and Twenty16-Ridebiker to accept invitations to the race.
Armstrong, who has also won the invitational women's time trial in California, will be on the start line with Twenty16-Ridebiker.
“The Women's WorldTour is coming to home soil, and I couldn't be more excited,” Armstrong said. "This amazing opportunity will showcase women’s cycling on the biggest stage in our sport. The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race will bring the best of the best including Olympians, World Champions and National Champions representing countries from across the world – and not to mention the event lands just three months before Rio."
Also on the start line will be Drops Cycling Team and Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa from Great Britain, and the USA Cycling National Team.
The women’s race will begin on May 19 in South Lake Tahoe for a 117km road race. Stage 2, on May 20, will offer a 20.3km team time trial in Folsom. Stage 3, on May 21, will take the peloton on a 111km road race in Santa Rosa. The race will conclude with stage 4 on May 22 with a 66km criterium in Sacramento.
2016 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM teams:
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Canyon/SRAM Racing (GER)
Colavita | Bianchi p/b Vittoria Women’s UCI Pro Team (USA)
Cylance Pro Cycling (USA)
Drops Cycling Team (GBR)
Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Hitec Products (NOR)
Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa (GBR)
Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (NED)
Rally Cycling (USA)
Team TIBCO-SVB (USA)
Twenty16 – Ridebiker (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
USA Cycling (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling (USA)
Weber Shimano Ladies Power (ARG)
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR)