Posted by Editor on 01/23/15
The tenth annual Amgen Tour of California will feature an unprecedented lineup of the world's top cycling teams for 2015. Race presenter AEG has increased the field over last year to include 18 international and domestic teams to compete on a picturesque but grueling eight-day route that will cover nearly 700 miles of California's most beautiful roadways, highways and coastlines, on May 10-17.
When the international field riders begins its eight-day journey in the state capital of Sacramento, eight top-ranking UCI ProTeams will lead the pack, including Tinkoff-Saxo, whose sprinter Peter Sagan (SVK) will return to California to try to add to his race record of 11 stage wins; Team Giant-Alpecin, who will challenge Sagan's hopes with Marcel Kittel (GER), one of the few cyclists to win sprints in all three Grand Tours; Santa Rosa, Calif.-based BMC Racing Team, an 8-time participant that swept the overall race and team classification in 2013 and is ranked second in the world; and Trek Factory Racing, which fielded a top-5 finish in last year's competition.
"I have had some of my best results at the Amgen Tour of California, and I want to return every year because it just gets better and better," said Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan, the 15th ranked rider in the world after the 2014 season and the race's Visit California Sprint Jersey defending champion. "The Sprint competition will be tougher than ever because of all the talent this year, but I'm hoping to wear green again in the golden state!"
Adding to the Professional Continental lineup is Africa's MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, a first for the country. The team also recently became the first African-registered team to receive a wildcard invite to the Tour de France for the 2015 race.
"The Amgen Tour of California is a really competitive and important race, and we're thrilled to join this year," said Brian Smith, General Manager of MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. "The team looks forward to returning to racing in America, and we'll be pushing hard for a good showing. The boys are excited to make their mark in California."
Eleven of the top U.S.-based teams will be vying to shake things up at every turn, including North Carolina-based Team SmartStop, San Marcos, Calif.-based Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and Team Novo Nordisk of Atlanta, Ga.
"The Amgen Tour of California has become known for legendary sprint contests, and I'm excited to get out on the battlefield again this year," said Germany's Marcel Kittel, the acclaimed sprinter who has won the first and last stages of the Tour de France for two years running for Team Giant-Alpecin (formerly Team Giant-Shimano). "I look forward to the competition and returning to the beautiful course in California."
UCI ProTeams (8)
BMC Racing Team, USA
Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team, Belgium
Team Cannondale-Garmin, USA
Team Giant-Alpecin, Germany
Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Netherlands
Team Sky, Great Britain
Trek Factory Racing, USA
UCI Professional Continental Teams (4):
Drapac Professional Cycling, Australia
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, South Africa
Team Novo Nordisk, USA
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team, USA
UCI Continental Teams (6):
Axeon Cycling Team, USA
Hincapie Racing Team, USA
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, USA
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, USA
Team SmartStop, USA
This year's nearly 700-mile course will wind through 13 host cities, including Sacramento, Nevada City, Lodi, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena.
The 2015 Amgen Tour of California will also include a first of its kind three-day professional women's cycling race on May 8-10 in South Lake Tahoe, as well as a women's invitational Time Trial in Big Bear Lake on May 15th.
For further information about the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
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