While the Tour of California men’s first stage rolled out of Sacramento on their eight day trek through California, the women’s race finished with a circuit race around the Stage Capitol. Trixi Worrack (Velocio – SRAM) sprinted her way into the yellow leader’s jersey and overall win, taking all three intermediate sprints and their available time bonuses, to easily overcome her mere 3-second deficit on post-stage 2 leader Lauren Komanski (Twenty 16). Leah Kirchmann (Optum) took the sprint at the finish line, additionally propelling herself into second in overall general classification standings, narrowly edging Komanski to third overall. Kirchmann also goes home with the sprint jersey, while Hannah Barnes (United Health Care) kept the best young rider’s jersey, and Kirsti Lay (Canada National Team) maintained the climber’s jersey.
As in 2014, good weather and good crowds graced the women’s circuit race. The race was made all the more complex and exciting due to the more dynamic nature of the general classification battle in addition to those individuals and teams looking to take the stage win. Women’s Cycling Association CEO Robin Farina, also racing the TOC as part of the BMW squad, was enthusiastic at the conclusion of the final stage. “The peloton was charged and very excited about the opportunity to race on a world-class stage”, she reported. “A standard has been set and now we look to up the game with the 2016 edition of the ATOC”.
Friday, a stand-alone time trial for an exclusive invited field will be run in conjunction with the men’s stage 6 event. Originally slated to run at Big Bear Lake, TOC organizers had the foresight to reschedule at lower altitude in Santa Clarita due to a weather forecast of snow and cold temperatures higher up. The women’s lineup will include some of the riders who competed in the TOC stage race, as well as a few others, including Kristin Armstrong, coming out of retirement for an appearance.
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