The sun was radiant on a comfortable spring day on Sunday in San Diego to welcome the start of the 11th Amgen Tour of California, which for only the second time in race history is taking a south-to-north route. Picking up right where he left off last year, the reigning race and UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) triumphed in a convincing group gallop ahead of Wouter Wippert (Cannondale) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo). For the charismatic Slovak, who will wear yellow on Stage 2 as the GC leader of the 782-mile, 8-day race, it was his record 14th Amgen Tour of California stage victory and third win of the season. Fans lining the 108-mile circuit were delighted to see the dynamic and uniquely talented rider in the rainbow jersey win the first stage. It was the first time America’s Greatest Race ever visited San Diego.
It’s just over two weeks until the start of the second Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, which is part of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour. For lay people, that means the best women’s teams and most accomplished riders in the world will gather in the Golden State May 19-22 to put on a thrilling four-stage cycling spectacle not to be missed.
On May 15, we launch the second decade of the Amgen Tour of California by racing 106 miles through the city that was the birthplace of the Golden State. The fact that America’s Greatest Race will be visiting San Diego for the very first time attests to the vastness of California itself, but we’re finally going to showcase the state’s second largest city by starting the overall race there, which is also where the first stage will finish.
Last year’s inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered by SRAM was a sensational success showcasing a peloton filled with the world’s fastest female cyclists competing in a three-day stage race followed by an invitational time trial event. The ante is being upped in a big way in 2016 as the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered by SRAM, taking place May 19-22, is part of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour and will include the first ever women’s team time trial as Stage 2 of America’s Greatest Race.
This week, we finally got a look at the challenging route for the 2016 Amgen Tour of California, which was revealed at a media event presented by Visit California. From top to bottom – actually that should be from bottom to top since for only the second time ever, the race will travel south to north – the courses for the May 15-22 event will showcase California’s breathtaking beauty while taking the breath of the world’s most accomplished cyclists in a stage race that could be described as long and tall. The route for the eleventh edition of America’s Greatest Race is one of the longest in race history at nearly 800 miles and one of the tallest with almost 65,000 feet of climbing.
It was quite an opening – and closing – day Sunday in Sacramento on a magnificent Mother’s Day at the Amgen Tour of California. The men’s ten anniversary race got started under cloudless blue skies and abundant sunshine as the first women’s stage race empowered with SRAM came to a thrilling conclusion. The crowd Sunday was thick and arrived early to enjoy a full day of bike racing. What a treat they received from the star-studded pelotons.