Bike Rides & Hikes

Amgen Tour of California: Women set to race first two days

For the past six years, the Amgen Tour of California has included one day of women’s racing – three time trials and three criteriums.

This year, women’s events will be held in conjunction with the first two stages of the men’s race.

Following the men’s Stage 1 start on Sunday, an anticipated field of 109 women from 20 teams and nine countries will pedal on a 1.25-mile circuit around the Capitol beginning at noon.

Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), who won last year’s women’s invitational time trial, and teammate Carmen Small, the current national time-trial titlist, will highlight the field that also will include several national champions and winners of international stage races.

Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare), two-time national road titlist and twice winner of the Giro d’Italia Femminile, is also in the field.

The women’s time trial will precede the men’s time trial Monday in Folsom. A field of 20 is scheduled to compete on the same 12.4-mile course in the women’s invitation-only event beginning at 11:10 a.m.

“This will be my third time racing the Amgen Tour of California time trial and I am thrilled,” Stevens said. “It is wonderful to have the chance to partake in part of one of the big U.S. stage races. The fans are always great and the courses are always challenging.”

– James Raia

Related stories from Sacramento Bee