New 6.6-mile Time Trial Course is Fast and Flat and Could Usher in a New Race Leader
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 14, 2015) – With inclement weather making it impossible to hold the Friday, May 15 Amgen Tour of California Time Trial Presented by Lexus as planned at Big Bear Lake, a new course is being primed in Valencia and Santa Clarita for the Men’s and Women’s Individual Time Trial events.
The course for the Stage 6 Time Trial presented by Lexus is expected to be blistering fast. One by one, the world-class cyclists will leave the start house in the Six Flags Magic Mountain parking lot and race 6.6 miles out and back. The riders will have to navigate a series of quick turns as they head out on The Old Road, revisiting roads used in past editions of the race. With no real elevation gain to contend with, this will be a quick, exciting course with plenty of chances for a surprise victor.
As of day five of [the eight days of] racing, with just :22 separating first and second place, and the top-25 race leaders separated by less than one minute, the time trial course is ripe to cause a shake-up to the standings. Expect contenders for the overall win like Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh and Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, Lawson Craddock (Team Giant-Alpecin), Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) and former race champion Robert Gesink (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) to do battle, using the time trial to try to put some time distance between themselves and overall contenders including Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish.
The time trial winner will gain a significant amount of time to increase his gap over the competition, so expect riders to go all-out to improve their standings leading into a very tough race day that ends at the top of Mt. Baldy on Saturday. This includes the tight competition for the SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey, where the top-5 riders are separated by only :03.
“Everything about this course is primed to deliver fast, exciting racing,” said race director Jim Birrell. “This is the day when the riders will be trying their best to shore up their positions, and where every second matters. On this fairly short course, the result is really anyone’s guess because there is room for a specialty rider to take the cake from the big hitters in the general classification. Either way, we anticipate a very aggressive attempt for the win.”
The UCI sanctioned Amgen Tour of California Women’s Invitational Time Trial empowered with SRAM, will precede the men's Individual Time Trial (Stage 6). Twenty-three of the best women time trialists including Olympic Gold Medal winner Kristin Armstrong will compete in the invitational event on the same route. The women begin at 12:30 p.m., with the men following at 1:00 p.m. The 6.6-mile race is ranked 1.1 by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the highest race classification behind a World Cup.
Jackie Crowell, an Amgen Tour of California Ambassador, will be competing under the Breakaway from Cancer® banner in her first professional race since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013. Breakaway from Cancer® is Amgen’s initiative to raise awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer.
“This ability to relocate Friday’s Time Trial would never have happened had it not been for the incredible cooperation of agencies and organizations such as the County of Los Angeles, CalTrans, the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff, the Cities of Santa Clarita and Valencia and Six Flags Magic Mountain,” said Kristin Bachochin Klein, Executive Director, Amgen Tour of California. “We also thank the Big Bear Lake Local Organizing Committee for all their hard work in preparing for the time trial and appreciate their cooperation in moving Stage 6 due to weather and road conditions.”
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 12 host cities, including Sacramento, Nevada City, Lodi, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena. The women’s three-day stage race traveled more than 150 miles through South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, followed by a 15-mile Invitational Time Trial in Big Bear Lake.
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