Worrack Claims Amgen Tour of California Women’s Inaugural race
May 12, 2015
With the leaders separated by only seconds after two days of racing, the first 3-day, 3-stage Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM came to a thrilling conclusion with Velocio-SRAM’s Trixi Worrack (GER) posting a powerful ride to claim the title of the UCI-sanctioned event as the first-ever Amgen Tour of California women’s road race champion.
On a day when the overall race leader changed three times, stage 3, presented by Visit California, featured a fast flat six-corner circuit course around California’s State Capitol Building in downtown Sacramento. Designed as a sprinter’s delight, the race leaders had to push hard to defend their positions, as the 65 cyclists still standing battled for every available Sprint point during a 17 lap all-out race totaling 34 miles.
With only seconds separating the race leaders, every time bonus awarded in four sprint opportunities made a difference as to who ended the day wearing the yellow overall winner’s jersey. Worrack, the 2013 German National Road Race Champion who placed third yesterday, went hard for the win and swept the first three of four sprints. This incredible feat put her at a 6-second advantage leading to the final laps.
But with the biggest bonus of the day at the finish, it was still anyone’s race. Velocio-SRAM was on the front for the last lap to defend Worrack’s position, finally giving way to a bunch sprint across the line. To the backdrop of crowds roaring, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Leah Kirchmann (CAN) claimed the stage for the second day in a row, but Worrack’s performance paid off as she was crowned the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM champion.
“It was such a really nice race, especially with the organization,” said Worrack. “It was a really nice [Amgen] Tour of California. The first two stages were really hard for us because it was at altitude and today was a crit, also really hard. But with lots of spectators, it was really good.”
Kirchmann ended second overall, as well as walking away with the Visit California Sprint Jersey.
“I’ve had an amazing time racing the Amgen Tour of California this week,” said Kirchmann. “It really means a lot for women’s cycling that the organizers have stepped it up and held an internationally sanctioned race with such a quality field. The venues were spectacular this week. The crowds were enthusiastic and big every day. And I just can’t wait to return to this race next year. It’s been awesome!”
Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air’s Lauren Komanski (USA), the only rider of the top three overall to podium every day, earned third place overall and Oakland, Calif. resident Katie Hall (USA), the race leader after day one, finished in fourth place for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
With no Queen of the Mountain (QOM) points awarded on the last stage, the climbing jersey remains with Canada National Team’s Kirsti Lay (CAN). Hannah Barnes (GBR), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, cemented the SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey and Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air went home with the team honors.
2015 General Classification
1. Trixi Worrack (GER), Velocio-SRAM (6h24’16”)
2. Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (:5)
3. Lauren Komanski (USA), Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air (:6)
Best team: Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air
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.
Fans have one more opportunity to cheer on world-class women cyclists on May 15 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.