Morro Bay, CA – The women’s race at the Amgen Tour of California has seen many forms, from a single day criterium to its current inception as a 3-day stage race, over the years. The rising tide of the increased quality and profile of the race has been accompanied by title sponsorship and an increased quality of riders in its field.
The 2019 edition is once again part of the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar and will be contested by 16 teams, five of which are registered in the United States. Heading up the US contingency is Trek-Segafredo, which heralds the return of Lizzie Deignan (GBR) stateside since her victory at the now-defunct 2015 Philly Cycling Classic and from giving birth to her first child, Orla. Aside from Lizzie Deignan, the team is comprised of 2015 Amgen Tour of California winner, German Trixi Worrack, Americans Tayler Wiles and Ruth Winder, Australian Retta Hanson, and Finnish sprinter, Lotta Lepisto.
Trek-Segafredo’s main competition will most likely come from European teams, Boels Dolmans Cycling Team, Canyon//SRAM Racing, and WNT Rotor Pro Cycling. The former will start the last two Amgen Tour of California winners in American Katie Hall (2018) and Anna van der Breggen (2017), with Canyon/SRAM and WNT Rotor being headed up by Kasia Niewiadoma, winner of the 2019 Amstel Gold Race, and Lisa Brennauer, who is coming off a win at the Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminin Elsy Jacobs, respectively.
As the General Classification will most likely be decided during the Queen Stage, with a climb up Mt. Baldy, others in solid contention are Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) and Brodie Chapman (TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), who is coming off a win in the Arizona stage race, Tour of the Gila. As for dark horses for the overall, Juliette Labous (Team Sunweb), a classic baroudeur, and German Clara Koppenburg (WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team).
With Stage 1 and 3 designated as sprinters’ stages, the above mentioned Lepisto will find plenty of competition from former UCI World Champion, Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans), hometown favorites Kendall Ryan (TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), who won Stage 1 during last year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race Empowered With SRAM, and Alexis Ryan (Canyon//SRAM Racing), multiple stage winner at the Amgen Tour of California, Cuban Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team), Emma White (Rally UHC Cycling), and Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb).
Thurs., May 16 – Stage 1: Ventura – 60mi/96.5km
Fri., May 17 – Stage 2: Ontario to Mt. Baldy – 46mi/74km
Sat., May 18 – Stage 3: Santa Clarita to Pasadena – 78.3mi/126km