As the Amgen Tour of California (May 15-22) and the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM (May 19-22) draw near, cycling fans and pros alike know that a new race season means new jerseys to earn, covet and collect.
Leader [or classification] jerseys are a time-honored tradition in the sport and are awarded in five categories at the California race to signify the best performers each day. The 2016 Amgen Tour of California jersey lineup will feature designs unique to the men’s and women’s races from Champion System, the race’s exclusive jersey provider for the fourth consecutive year.
“The Amgen Tour of California and its elite field provide a tremendously high-profile display for Champion System’s leading edge technical apparel,” offers Champion System co-founder and president Scott Kaylin. “Every rider in the field vies for the honor of wearing and defending this year’s edition. As fans, we can’t wait to see them claimed by the best riders and teams this May.”
The five classification jerseys that will be awarded daily at the Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest and most prestigious professional race, each represent a different skill or achievement: overall race leader, “King of the Mountain/Queen of the Mountain,” best sprinter, best young rider and most courageous rider. These five jerseys will be presented daily on stage near the finish line during a special awards ceremony where the recipients will be zipped into custom classification jersey designs. The jerseys will be personalized with the leaders’ names printed on the back, a tradition that began at the 2013 Amgen Tour of California.
The coveted classification jerseys are refreshed each year, and for the first time feature designs unique to the separate men’s and women’s events, including:
- Amgen Race Leader Jersey: The hotly contested “yellow jersey” will be awarded to the rider with the lowest cumulative time over the entire race as of the end of each stage. Traditionally yellow, this jersey often changes hands from stage to stage as each day’s results are added into the equation. It is possible for a rider to win the Amgen Race Leader Jersey without winning a daily stage since the jersey takes into account overall race times, not stage finish results.
- Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey: This meaningful jersey will be awarded daily to the cyclist who best exemplifies the character of those engaged in the fight against cancer – courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination and perseverance.
- Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM)/Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey: This jersey will go to the peloton’s strongest climber each day – the rider who collects the most points at designated KOM/QOM locations at the tops of mountains and hills. Only the first three cyclists to reach the top on rated climbs will receive points toward this award.
- Visit California Sprint Jersey: The “green jersey” is awarded to the rider who accumulates the most bonus points based on Sprint Line performances and finishing the stage in the top ten. Cyclists who specialize in bursts of power and speed, or consistently finish near the top of each stage, have the best chance to wear this respected jersey. Visit California has been a jersey partner since the race’s inception in 2006.
- SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey: This jersey will be awarded daily to the young rider under the age of 23 with the least amount of elapsed time over the entire race to that point. The wearers of this jersey are best bets to become future cycling stars.
“Every day of the Amgen Tour of California is filled with epic battles and, ultimately, amazing triumphs,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “We are thankful to Champion System for helping us honor the moments these extraordinary athletes train the whole year – and really, their whole lives – to accomplish.”