Done and dusted…after eight days, eight stages and nearly 800 miles, the eleventh Amgen Tour of California is in the history books thus concluding another extraordinary week of America’s Greatest Race. We crowned the first French champion, Julian Alaphilippe (Ettix-Quick-Step), who is also the youngest winner in race history at 23 years-old. BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis, the Australian winner of the Stage 6 Folsom Time Trial, and American Brent Bookwalter completed the final GC podium. In other competitions, Rally Cycling’s Evan Huffman locked up the Lexus King of the Mountains polka dot tunic on Saturday. The revelation of the week is Axeon Hagens Berman’s Neilson Powless who takes home the SRAM Best Young Rider jersey. With fifteen career stage wins, including two this week, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won yet another Visit California Sprint jersey.
We are just a few days away from the men’s peloton departure from San Diego for the first time thus launching the second decade of the Amgen Tour of California. Eighteen of the world’s most accomplished professional teams, including a record ten UCI WorldTour squads, have been revealing their lineups this week. And before arriving in San Diego, a stellar pair of Amgen Tour of California protagonists is attending a pre-Olympic track training camp on U.S. soil.
In one week, the second decade of the Amgen Tour of California gets underway. For the first time, America’s Greatest Race will be in San Diego to begin the nearly 800-mile, 8-day stage race that showcases an international peloton comprised of World, National and Olympic champions and Grand Tour overall, special jersey and stage winners. With millions of viewers all over the globe following the race on television and online, hundreds of thousands of enthused spectators will line the courses daily. If you plan to be in the Golden State to catch a stage (or more), allow me to offer a handful of recommendations of unique VIP experiences available to make your day at the race unforgettable.
Last week, I received an inquiry from a loyal reader asking when the teams will be announced for the eleventh edition of the Amgen Tour of California. Since the teams were revealed at the beginning of last month, the question made me think that this column should review the 18 professional men’s squads comprised of World, National and Grand Tour champions that made selection for the nearly 800-mile, 8-day stage race starting May 15 for the first time in San Diego on a south-to-north trek through the Golden State.
In addition to showcasing world and national champions, Olympic medalists and Grand Tour stage winners, the Amgen Tour of California also provides a platform for developing professionals to breakthrough to the next level. Two riders who made strong impressions during the 10th anniversary edition of America’s Greatest Race, Toms Skujiņš and Logan Owen, are in the spotlight this week.