Ventura, CA – Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race Empowered With SRAM was earmarked for the sprinters, but UCI World Champion, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans Cycling) had other plans.
The overall winner of the 2017 edition of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race was simply dominant in the closing kilometers of Stage 1, which started and finished along the beach front of Ventura, as her decisive move with less than 5 kilometers to go would not draw a response from an already tired peloton. She would comfortably cross the finish line solo, with Italian Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance Cycling) taking the bunch sprint ahead of Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team).
The 60 miles (96.5 kilometer) stage was animated late by Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas Mettler LOOK Pro Cycling Team), who made a valiant breakaway attempt in extremely windy conditions. The proverbial rubber band between her and peloton would finally break, as the winds and the short but steep ascent up Brakey Road ultimately took its toll.
Once Zabelinskaya was caught, the current Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner would counter with fervor. Van der Breggen would only look back meters before the finish to sort out the damage behind and to see the clear road behind her.
The best placed American was Emma White (Rally UHC Cycling), who finished in 8th just ahead of Zableinskaya.
Results Stage 1: Ventura – 60mi/96.5km
- Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans)
- Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance Cycling)
- Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team)
Jersey Leaders After Stage 1
- Amgen Leader Jersey – Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans)
- Visit California Sprint – Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans)
- Tag Heuer Best Young Rider – Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance Cycling)
- Lexus Queen of the Mountain – (Astana Women’s Team)
- Amgen Breakaway Most Courageous Rider – Lindsay Goldman (Hagens Berman/Supermint)