For the second year running, Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s three-time U.S. National Champion Megan Guarnier mounted a remarkable climb to a first-place finish at day one of the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease™ Women’s Race empowered with SRAM. The result came down to the final climb just as it did on the same South Lake Tahoe route last year, when California’s Bay Area-based Guarnier took the stage and went on to become the overall race champion.
Guarnier is working back from a concussion suffered earlier this season, making today’s victory even more sweet: “They (Guarnier’s teammates) had their work cut out for them today, it was quite aggressive, and they had to keep things together, or be in the breaks….they just let me stay calm and save everything for the finish,” said Guarnier.
The Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease™ Women’s Race empowered with SRAM kicked off its second year on the UCI Women’s WorldTour when the four-day stage race began in South Lake Tahoe today. The stage, presented by Breakaway from Heart Disease™, began and ended at Heavenly Mountain Resort, featuring two sprints, 5,300’ of elevation gain and two Queen of the Mountain (QOM) climbs. The final climb of the day saw the peloton riding together and working to ensure good positioning for their lead riders contending for the overall win. The final meters saw an attack from Boels-Dolmans’ 2016 Olympic Games road race gold medalist Anna van der Breggen (NED), who came away with second place today after helping boost teammate Guarnier to the line.
Early breaks by Cylance Pro Cycling’s Alison Tetrick (Petaluma, Calif.) and then by two national champions – Mexico’s Ingrid Drexel (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) and New Zealand’s Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) – were reeled in by a thundering peloton.
As Hagens Berman | Supermint and Boels-Dolmans worked to bring the group back together, Hagens’ Australian rider Lizzie Williams took off the front and grew her solo lead to one minute before being reabsorbed on a climb with just under 30 km to go, coming away with the Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
Tomorrow’s Stage 2 presented by Visit California is an all-new 67-mile route again hosted in South Lake Tahoe that will include the first Amgen Tour of California climb up the infamous Kingsbury Grade, an 8-mile climb that gains 2,700’ in elevation.
The Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease™ Women’s Race empowered with SRAM is one of the biggest platforms in the world for women’s cycling, featuring 17 teams and 95 premier cyclists. The women will contest a 256.6-mile course during the 2017 four-stage event.
“Today was an all-star celebration of professional women’s cycling and the incredible level of competition and skill the riders now showcase,” said Kristin Klein, race president and executive vice president of AEG Sports.
Stage 1 Podium
1. Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
2. Anna van der Breggen (NED), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
3. Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Astana Women’s Team (KAZ)
Stage 1 Jersey Winners
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Lizzie Williams (AUS), Hagens Berman | Supermint (USA)
Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Megan Guarnier (USA), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Astana Women’s Team (KAZ)