Amgen Tour of California | Final: Guarnier of New York Wins 2016 Amgen Women’s Race
Reigning U.S. National Road Race Champion Megan Guarnier (Glens Falls, New York) seized the race lead in South Lake Tahoe on day one of the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM and has held onto it ever since. After four race days and a total of 197.8 miles, she began the day with a 15-second advantage, and goes away as the 2016 women’s race champion following a 41-mile circuit race (20 laps) around Capitol Park in Sacramento. Guarnier also won the overall Points classification, and will go on to represent the U.S. in the Rio Summer Olympic Games in August.
“This one is up there,” said Guarnier. “Being in America, winning a WorldTour event, and then taking a leader’s jersey. The crowds are amazing. It’s a little bit surreal, and I’m super proud to be here.”
The field of 91 starters in the UCI Women’s WorldTour event lost a few riders to crashes on the fast and flat course. After a couple of short-lived breaks, Cylance Pro Cycling showed strength at the front of the peloton as the riders crossed the finish line again and again during their circuit laps. With two laps to go, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took over at the front in hopes to propel 2014 U.S. National Criterium Champion Coryn Rivera to a win. It was not enough to hold off Hitec Products’ Kirsten Wild (NED), who came over the finish line just ahead of Canyon/SRAM Racing’s former German National Champion Lisa Brennauer and Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team’s lauded rider Marianne Vos (NED). Rivera, who placed second at yesterday’s Santa Rosa stage, was fourth today, with Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Amy Pieters (NED) in fifth.
At the conclusion of the women’s event, two Boels-Dolmans riders stood on the overall podium with Guarnier taking top honors and teammate Evelyn Stevens (Claremont, Calif.) in third. Four-time National Time Trial Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Memphis, Tenn.) of TWENTY16 – Ridebiker placed second.
Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.) of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling came away from the competition with the Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey. The SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey went to 19 year-old Chloe Dygert, the two-time Junior World Champion from Bremerton, Wash., and Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team’s Shara Gillow (AUS) was named the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider.
“We spend a lot of time racing over in Europe with our teams there. To be able to show the girls on my team a really well-organized race and show them places they thought were beautiful and places they’ve never seen before and be able to give them such a wonderful impression of racing in America, it was really special,” said Abbott. “It’s really special to be able to have these sorts of big races in my country.”
Stage 4 Podium
2016 Final Standings
2016 Jersey Winners
Amgen Leader Jersey – Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Mara Abbott (USA), Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey – Chloe Dygert (USA), TWENTY16 – Ridebiker (NED)
Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Shara Gillow (AUS), Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (NED)
Overall Team Classification – TWENTY16 – Ridebiker
“It’s truly been our best race ever. Not only has it been the most competitive but we have the strongest men’s and women’s fields in the history of the Amgen Tour of California,” said Kristin Klein, president of the race and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “I’m proud that we’ve created America’s most prestigious race and the second biggest race in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing many of the men and women in our field go on to compete not only in the Tour de France but also the Olympic Games in Rio.”
Celebrating its 11th year, the Amgen Tour of California is the most esteemed stage race in the U.S. Amgen has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year.
“At Amgen, our mission is to serve patients, and for more than 35 years we have reached millions of people with our medicines,” said Raymond C. Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. “Our sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California gives Amgen a platform to educate people nationwide about important resources for cancer survivors and their loved ones available through our Breakaway from Cancer program and our newest initiative, Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM campaign that encourages people to use road bikes and stationary bikes to get active and heart healthy.”
Following a successful week of honoring and celebrating cancer survivors as the race traveled through the state, today one of America’s most recognized journalists, cancer survivor and advocate Joan Lunden fired the official start gun to begin the final stage, and Kathryn West, a cancer survivor and Amgen’s director of advocacy,
had the honor of awarding Toms Skujins with the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey. Local cancer survivor Eve Bukowski presented the women’s Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider to Shara Gillow.
And Amgen’s newest initiative Breakaway from Heart Disease™ marked the end of the annual race with a second event that focused on encouraging others to take action to make heart health a priority. If you can’t attend an event in person, join the ride virtually by uploading your bicycling photo and pledging your miles. Each time a photo is submitted, you will be entered to win a set of Schwinn bikes; each photo submission will also trigger a $1 donation to the American Heart Association. Go to breakawayfromheartdisease.com to join the movement and learn more about what you can do today to help improve heart health for tomorrow.
About the Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM
The Amgen Tour of California and Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM are Tour de France-style cycling road races created and presented by AEG that challenge the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along demanding courses that traverse 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. More information is available at amgentourofcalifornia.com.
The 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. This year, the course will cover 782 miles over eight days through 12 host cities, including San Diego (first-time host), South Pasadena (first-time host), Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara County, Morro Bay (first-time host), Monterey County, Lodi, South Lake Tahoe (first-time host), Folsom, Santa Rosa and Sacramento.
The Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM will run for the latter half of the men’s race (May 19-22) as the U.S. debut event on the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT).
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 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.
Founder and operators of the Amgen Tour of California and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company. With offices on five continents, AEG operates in the following business segments: AEG Facilities, which owns, manages or consults with more than 120 preeminent arenas, stadiums, theaters, clubs and convention centers around the world including The O2 Arena, the Sprint Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas; AEG Live, which is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global and regional concert tours, music and special events and world-renowned festivals; AEG Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE; AEG Sports, which is the world’s largest operator of sports franchises and high-profile sporting events; and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships including naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships. Through its worldwide network of venues, portfolio of powerful sports and music brands, AXS.com ticketing platform, AXS cable television channel and its integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 100 million guests annually. More information about AEG can be found at www.aegworldwide.com.
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