6 years ago by Sam Wiebe

Rally Cycling Invited to Amgen Tour of California

Teams Return to California for the Ninth Year

Rally Cycling is excited to announce the invitation of both the men and women’s teams to the 2017 Amgen Tour of California. It will be the program’s ninth time competing in the event, and the men and women of Rally Cycling look forward to continued success on the roads of California.

Evan Huffman in the 2016 Amgen Tour of California King of the Mountains Jersey

The 2016 edition was highlighted by Evan Huffman winning the King of the Mountains Jersey after taking it on stage two and successfully defending it throughout the remainder of the week. Rally Cycling also staked its claim for the most aggressive team in the event by placing a rider in every significant breakaway of the race. Along the way, the team landed on the podium twice with Evan Huffman finishing second in stage two and Adam de Vos equaling Huffman’s result in stage five. On the same day de Vos stepped onto the podium in Lake Tahoe, Sara Poidevin claimed the first Queen of the Mountains jersey of the 2016 women’s edition.

“Our team is ecstatic to receive an invitation to the 2017 Amgen Tour of California, said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “When they made the announcement that the race would upgrade to WorldTour status, everyone was unsure of what that would mean. Thankfully the Amgen Tour of California and UCI are allowing a couple of Continental teams to compete this year. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Over the last five years, we have consistently had success at the Amgen Tour of California with a stage win, KOM jerseys, podiums, and top ten finishes overall. We hope to continue that trend, but this year will be even more challenging with WorldTour points on the line. It’s a tall task for a Continental team, but our riders are putting in all of the necessary work to prepare for a race of this caliber, and come May, we will be swinging for the fences.”

Adam de Vos drives the breakaway during stage five of the 2016 edition

The 2017 men's edition of the Amgen Tour of California starts in Sacramento on May 14 and heads south through The Golden State, ending in Pasadena on May 20. The seven-day stage race will include a mountaintop finish, a high altitude time trial along with flat and rolling stages to assure a competitive and exciting event. The first stage, starting and ending in Sacramento, seems ideally suited for the sprinters. Stage two will see the peloton tackle Mount Hamilton and will serve as the first real test for the general classification riders. The third and fourth stages take the race south along the coast and feature a combination of flat and rolling terrain. These transition stages are well suited to breakaways and sprinters looking to grab stage glory. Stage five will see the general classification battle heat up on the climb to the top of Mount Baldy in the event’s queen stage. Although relatively short at only 125 kilometers, it features three categorized climbs and over 11,000 feet of elevation gain. The following day, the riders move over to Big Bear for the stage six time trial. The race finishes the next day in downtown Pasadena.

Sara Poidevin claimed the first Queen of the Mountains jersey in South Lake Tahoe

Four days before the start of the men’s race, the women of Rally Cycling tackle the roads of California in the Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM. Starting on May 11, the four-day event starts with a 116-kilometer loop around Lake Tahoe. Stage two will also be centered around Lake Tahoe but will head west over Luther’s Pass before looping through the Washoe Reservation and heading north to tackle the 12.8-kilometer Kingsbury Grade. Stage three sees the riders race 118 kilometers from Elk Grove to Sacramento. The fourth a final stage is a 70-kilometer circuit race around the Capitol Building in the heart of downtown Sacramento.

"The team has a great history in this race," said Team Director Zach Bell. “Kirsti Lay won the Queen of the Mountains jersey as a member of the Canadian National team in 2015, and Sara Poidevin pulled on the same jersey last year in the colors of Rally Cycling. This group knows it can be successful at the Tour of California. This year we will be looking to have an impact every day and contest for jerseys and stages. Last year we came with ambitious goals that did not play out because of a crash in the team time trial. As a result, we have riders with some unfinished business."

Rosters for both men and women will be determined over the next several weeks.