The women's circuit race took place Sunday 12:00 P.M. and it was the largest the Amgen Tour has ever hosted. 109 riders, twenty teams from nine different countries took part in one hour circuit race that looped around the California State Capitol Park. The competition was fierce and along with the gusty winds it made for one interesting race. The winner would have to clock the fastest time and number of laps completed to be declared the victor.
The race started off to a huge fanfare as the crowd eagerly waited to watch the best female cyclists in the World compete in the biggest race of the year. Cyclists buzzed along the street course and the swift winds played a major factor as a few riders were knocked out along the way. As the minutes ticked away, it became a war of attrition as the weather, temperatures and pure athleticism factored into who would be able to pull ahead and be the first to cross the finish line. In the end, Carmel Small of Team Specialized-lululemon ended the race at 58 minutes and 55 seconds for the win. Coryn Rivera of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team finished second and Brianna Walle of Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies came in third.
At the afternoon press conference, all three finalist agreed that the women cyclists should be able to compete in stage racing like their male counterparts and would like to do so in the future. Carmel Small also spoke about how the wind played a major factor in the race but it made her work even harder to pull away from her fellow cyclists in the waning minutes to clinch the victory. All three women stated that they would like to see more women's cycling events held in the U.S.A. and the success of the Amgen Tour of California would play a role in that. Small also said that the lack of women's cycling races in the U.S. has her going overseas competing for prize money.
Monday's event will be a time trial and it is schedule to start at 11:10 A.M. For more information about the women's race please visit http://amgentourofcalifornia.com/competition/womens-races