Women’s Stage Road Race Concludes Tomorrow in the Shadow of the Sacramento State Capitol Building as Men’s Race Gets Underway
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (May 9, 2015) – The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM continued in South Lake Tahoe today with Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Leah Kirchmann (CAN) besting the other 70 cyclists after two laps of a 25-mile circuit (49.7 miles total). Lauren Komanski (Winston-Salem, NC), riding for Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air, began the day in third place overall, and her second-place finish was enough to claim the Amgen Race Leader Jersey.
Stage 2, presented by Amgen, took riders from Heavenly Mountain Resort through the scenic forests of South Lake Tahoe and back for a dramatic uphill finish in just under two hours. The women’s stage road race will conclude tomorrow with a circuit race through the streets of downtown Sacramento. With the top-three in general contention separated by only 10 seconds, the fast and flat course is primed to deliver a spectacular finale.
Team TIBCO-SVB and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, seeking to protect the yellow jersey Katie Hall (USA) claimed yesterday, controlled the peloton leading to the first Queen of the Mountain (QOM) summit 16 miles into the race. Allie Dragoo (USA), Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air, attacked around mile 20 and built a :30 advantage to cross the Sprint line first; however, Kirchmann came away with today’s Sprint classification with the bonus points awarded to the first three across the finish line.
The rest of the course saw several attack attempts, but nothing that stuck, with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team continuing to set the pace to defend the race leader. As the field arrived together to the final climb to the finish, the cyclists gained about 450 feet in elevation in less than a mile. Ultimately, Kirchmann came across the line first, showing why she is one of the most decorated North American sprinters and reigning Canadian National Champion in Road Race, Criterium and Time Trial.
With a total of 3,300 feet in elevation gain and two QOM climbs, this was also a day for climbers to shine, with Canada National Team’s Kirsti Lay (CAN) overtaking the QOM competition.
“It feels really awesome to have this [QOM] jersey,” said Lay. “Yesterday we went out to be aggressive and active, and it turned out we were sitting high in the classification for the Queen of the Mountain. So, today it was definitely a target for the team to put us in contention to take the jersey. It was a good day for us.”
Hall finished in fourth place today and drops to third overall, back :10 from race leader Komanski. Worrack holds second place overall with a :3 gap.
“I think tomorrow is going to be ‘game on’ from the very start,” said Kirchman. “The GC is very close, so I think it’s going to be a really tough day tomorrow.”
STAGE 2 PODIUM
1. Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
2. Lauren Komanski (USA), Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air
3. Trixi Worrack (GER), Velocio-SRAM
STAGE 2 JERSEY WINNERS
Amgen Race Leader Jersey: Lauren Komanski (USA), Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air
Visit California Sprint Jersey: Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Lexus Queen of the Mountain Jersey: Kirsti Lay (CAN), Canada National Team
SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey: Hannah Barnes (GBR), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Celebrating its 10th year, the Amgen Tour of California is the most esteemed stage race in the U.S. and has become a major platform for women racers. Amgen has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year.
“At Amgen, our mission is to serve patients, and we have reached millions of people with our medicines over the past 35 years,” said Raymond C. Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. “Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California gives Amgen another platform to educate people nationwide about important resources for cancer survivors and their loved ones available through our Breakaway from Cancer program.”
Breakaway from Cancer®, created by Amgen in 2005, is a national initiative to raise awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention to survivorship. A collaboration between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition For Survivorship – the program offers a broad range of services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals.
For more information about Breakaway from Cancer, visit breakawayfromcancer.com.
STAGE 3/CONCLUSION TOMORROW, PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA:
Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento (34 miles)
Start Time: 11:15 a.m. PDT (men’s race begins at same location at 10:50 a.m.)
Estimated Finish Time: 12:45 p.m. PDT
Fans can cheer on world-class women cyclists on the racecourse in Sacramento tomorrow, and can also see some of the best time trialists compete May 16, or catch the action with the free Amgen Tour of California app for tablets and mobile devices. More information on ways to watch is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
For further information about the Amgen Tour of California women’s and men’s races and to experience the race like never before with VIP Access, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California's iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
This year, the men’s course will traverse more than 700 miles and wind through 13 host cities, including Sacramento, Nevada City, Lodi, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena. The women’s three-day stage race will travel more than 150 miles through South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, followed by a 15-mile Invitational Time Trial in Big Bear Lake.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Best Buy Theater Times Square; sports franchises including the LA Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers; the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG Live, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com.
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Michael Roth, AEG
Eileen Tanner, Golin
Diana Valdez, Golin