The organisers of the Amgen Tour of California have confirmed the teams for the men’s and women’s races. Hagens Berman Axeon, Holowesko-Citadel, and Rally Cycling secured the wildcard invitations in the men's race alongside 14 WorldTour teams. The women's race will be without defending champion Anna van der Breggen and her Boels Dolmans team.
Fifteen teams will ride the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM 2018, but only three of the top five teams in the world. The list of teams does include Hagens Berman-Supermint, Team Illuminate, Rally Cycling, Swapit/Agolico, Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, Twenty20 Pro Cycling, plus USA and Mexican national teams. Major teams travelling to California include Sunweb, home of American Coryn Rivera, Canyon-Sram with Kasia Niewiadoma and Alexis Ryan, UnitedHealthCare with Katie Hall, Wiggle High5 and the British Trek-Drops team.
"The team and I had some great results at the Amgen Tour of California last year and we will be back this year looking to build on that - it's a fun race in beautiful locations, plus holds a lot of personal meaning for me being in my home state and country," Rivera said.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) have already been confirmed as stand-out riders. Race organizer AEG have revealed that Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott), plus US riders Nielson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ian Boswell (Katusha-Alpecin) and Pete Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) will all ride.
"The Amgen Tour of California attracts top talent, and comes at an important time in our season - it's the most prestigious race in America, and also serves as a stepping stone to hone our racing lineup and form for the Tour de France in July," said Katusha Alpecin director Dmitry Konyshev.
Rally Cycling stepped up to Professional Continental level for 2018 to be able to take part in the Tour of California after winning two stages in 2017.
"This is a critical race for our team and our partners. With the UCI WorldTour race designation, it was important that we upgrade to Pro Continental in order to remain eligible for America's biggest race," Rally team manager Charles Aaron said.
The women's race rolls out of Elk Grove. The second stage will get underway in South Lake Tahoe before Sacramento hosts the race finale for the fourth straight year.
Van der Breggen nabbed the 2017 victory by a single second ahead of UnitedHealthcare's Katie Hall with a successful bid for bonus time at the intermediate sprint on the final stage. However, her Boels Dolmans team is not listed as a returning team this year, and so the race will be without the defending champion and the top-ranked women's team in the world.
Former overall winner Megan Guarnier, who also races for Boels-Dolmans, will be competing with the US national team.
Team LottoNl-Jumbo's George Bennett won the overall in the 2017 men's race, ahead of Majka and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac).
Cyclingnews will have full coverage of both races.
Full list of teams for the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM 2018:
• Astana Women’s Team (KAZ)
• BePink (ITA)
• Canyon-SRAM Racing (GER)
• Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling (USA)
• Mexican National Team (MEX)
• Rally Cycling (USA)
• Swapit/Agolico Cycling Pro Team (MEX)
• Team Illuminate (USA)
• Team Sunweb (NED)
• Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
• Trek–Drops (GBR)
• TWENTY20 Pro Cycling p/b Sho-Air (USA)
• UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
• USA Cycling National Team (USA)
• Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR)
Full list of teams for the Amgen Tour of California 2018: