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SCVNews.com | Strongest Field in Race History Announced for 2017 Amgen Tour | 03-09-2017
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Team selections have been finalized by AEG, producer and presenter of the 2017 Amgen Tour of California (May 14-20) and the Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM (May 11-14).

America’s most prestigious cycling event joins the UCI WorldTour this year with 11 WorldTour teams containing some of the world’s most decorated cyclists, including first-ranked, California-based BMC Racing Team. Three Pro Continental and two Continental teams round out the event.

UCI WorldTour Teams (MEN):
· Astana Pro Team (KAZ)

· BMC Racing Team (USA)

· BORA-hansgrohe (GER)

· Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team (USA)

· Quick-Step Floors (BEL)

· Team Dimension Data (RSA)

· Team Sunweb (GER)

· Team KATUSHA ALPECIN (SUI)

· Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)

· Team Sky (GBR)

· Trek-Segafredo (USA)

UCI Professional Continental Teams (MEN):
· Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA)

· Team Novo Nordisk (USA)

· UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)

UCI Continental Teams (MEN):
· Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)

· Rally Cycling (USA)

Since its inception in 2006, the Amgen Tour of California has become one of the most important races on the international cycling calendar, showcasing the most accomplished cyclists from around the world. In addition, the event provides cyclists the opportunity to preview prospective competition leading to summer’s Tour de France.

Amgen Tour of California veteran Mark Cavendish (GBR) will return with Team Dimension Data. Cavendish turned in his tenth Amgen Tour of California career stage win last year before going on to win his first Olympic medal (silver in Omnium) and the opening stage plus three others in the 2016 Tour de France.

“I’ve been racing in the Amgen Tour of California for years now, and it’s an event I look forward to. Not only are their courses challenging, they are incredibly scenic and attract one of the best groups of fans we see every year. From a team and riders’ perspective, it’s one of the best organized events anywhere and an event that always takes great care of the riders,” said Cavendish, who is nearing the all-time Tour de France stage win record with 30 (the record is 34). “It’s become an important part of my preparation for the Tour de France because the race attracts the best, and the competition is intense. It’s always a battle but I am hoping to add some more California victories this year.”

The Amgen Tour of California has become known for epic sprinter showdowns, and Cavendish will face off with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s star sprinter Alexander Kristoff (NOR), BORA-hansgrohe’s all-time Amgen Tour of California stage win record holder Peter Sagan (SVK), Trek-Segafredo’s lauded John Degenkolb (GER) and Cofidis’ Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), who holds multiple stage wins at the
Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.

“Racing in California is a challenge and a joy every time. I hope to continue building on the success I’ve had at the Amgen Tour of California, and know all the riders will do our best to give the incredible fans another good show this year,” said Sagan, who holds the record for the most Amgen Tour of California stage wins (15) and capped off last season by wearing the yellow jersey for the first time at the Tour de France then winning his second World Championship title.

The Amgen Tour of California has also become a race where young riders can make their mark. Last year at age 23, France’s Julian Alaphilippe became the youngest rider in race history to claim overall victory. This year could hold more of the same… Following his breakthrough 2016 season, 23-year-old Columbian rider Miguel Ángel López will make his California debut with Astana Pro Team, and Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team will bring 25-year-old phenom Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas), who has racked up strong California results in recent years (3rd overall in 2014; 5th in 2016), and was one of only five U.S. riders to start in the Tour de France last season.

Teammates joining Craddock will include reigning U.S. National Time Trial Champion Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) and part-time Napa, Calif. resident Andrew Talansky, who held that same national title in 2015 and placed fourth overall at last year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The 2017 Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM is a four-day road race in Northern California (May 11-14). A victor will be decided in Sacramento on the same day the men begin racing.

Over the course of the last decade, the Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM has grown from a one-day race to a UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race, earning a designation as one of the top women’s races in the world.

The 2016 edition served as a critical race for the Rio Olympic Games team selections. Many riders who competed – and medaled – in Rio last summer will race in California in May. The teams selected for 2017, and the riders that compete for those teams, will comprise the strongest field to assemble in the U.S. this year.

As in 2016, the Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. This year’s race will include 16 star-studded teams, half of which are U.S.-based:

Astana Women’s Team (KAZ)
BePink Cogeas (ITA)
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Canyon/SRAM Racing (GER)
Cylance Pro Cycling (USA)
Drops (GBR)
Hagens Berman | Supermint (USA)
Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team (BEL)
Rally Cycling (USA)
Sho-Air TWENTY20 (USA)
Team Colavita | Bianchi (USA)
Team Sunweb (NED)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling (USA)
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR)

2016 race champion Megan Guarnier (Glens Falls, NY), a three-time National Champion, will return to California to defend her title with UCI’s number-one ranked team after last season, Boels-Dolmans.

“I was so proud to win last year’s Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, the most prestigious race in my home country. It was one of the highlights of my season, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me and my team in California this May,” said Guarnier, who finished 2016 as UCI’s top-ranked woman rider and now calls San Mateo, Calif. home.

2015 race champion Trixi Worrack (GER), who suffered a near career-ending injury as a result of a crash last year, will return with her Canyon/SRAM team to take another crack at the title. Sho-Air TWENTY20’s 20-year-old sensation Chloé Dygert (Bremerton, Wash.), who won Olympic silver and a World Championship title as part of the Women’s Pursuit Team last year, will return to the race this year as well.

“Last year’s competition was the first UCI Women’s WorldTour race I competed in. To race alongside my coach and mentor Kristin Armstrong [a race ambassador for 2017] and finish the week wearing the Best Young Rider’s jersey was an amazing experience. I can’t wait to race the truly beautiful roads of California against a world-class field. This year’s race is going to be awesome!,” said Dygert.

“This is an exciting year for California, and for cycling. The 32 teams coming to race in the 2017 Amgen Tour of California truly represent the best of the best,” said Kristin Klein, race president and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “These men and women give their all to create some of the most memorable sporting moments I’ve ever witnessed. It’s a testament to the growth of cycling and this race that our fans – out on the course and in other countries who watch TV broadcasts and online updates – continue to grow in number year over year, along with the level of competition.”

Interested in exhibitor opportunities for your brand within the daily finish line Lifestyle Festival? Visit amgentourofcalifornia.com/festival for additional information.

About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions.

The first-ever U.S. UCI WorldTour course will cover more than 575 miles through 12 Host Cities May 14-20, including Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Mountain High and Pasadena.

The Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM May 11-14 will visit South Lake Tahoe and Elk Grove before concluding in Sacramento as the men’s race gets underway. More information is available at amgentourofcalifornia.com.

About Amgen
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.

About AEG

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, AEG is the world’s leading sports venue and live entertainment company. With offices on five continents, AEG operates in the following business segments: AEG Facilities, which is affiliated with or owns, manages or consults with more than 120 preeminent arenas, stadiums, theaters, clubs and convention centers around the world including The O2 Arena, the Sprint Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas; AEG Live, which is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global and regional concert tours, music and special events and world-renowned festivals; AEG Real Estate, which develops world-class venues, as well as major sports and entertainment districts like STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE; AEG Sports, which is the world’s largest operator of sports franchises and high-profile sporting events; and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees worldwide sales and servicing of sponsorships including naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships. Through its worldwide network of venues, portfolio of powerful sports and music brands and its integrated entertainment districts, AEG entertains more than 100 million guests annually. More information about AEG can be found at www.aegworldwide.com.

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