April 14, 2011 (Los Angeles, CA) – AEG has announced details of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s International Time Trial Challenge presented by Specialized and SRAM, which will take place in Solvang during Stage 6 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California on Friday, May 20. Using the same course as the Stage 6 men’s individual time trial in Solvang, the women’s event will be a 12-person invitation, showcasing some of the best women athletes in the world racing for a $10,000 prize pool.
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s International Time Trial Challenge will start at 11:30 a.m. PST on Friday, May 20, with the women leaving at one-minute intervals immediately before the beginning of the professional men’s time trial at 12:30 p.m. PST. The women will traverse the exact 15-mile course as the professional men.
“Beginning with the women’s criterium race during the 2008 edition of the Amgen Tour of California, AEG has always been a supporter of women’s cycling,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “We are pleased to be able to celebrate the tremendous athleticism of these world-class competitors by providing an international stage on which to showcase their ability.”
Offering a preview to the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games, the race will be featured on the May 20 VERSUS broadcast of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. The best women’s time trialists in the world have been invited and are expected to attend, including reigning Olympic gold medalist and former world champion Kristin Armstrong, defending world champion Emma Pooley, former world champion Amber Neben, former world champion Judith Arndt, and current US Champion Evelyn Stevens.
“I am honored to be one of a handful of cyclists invited to this world class event,” said former world champion Kristin Armstrong. “This is a great opportunity to showcase women’s cycling in America’s premier race. I can’t think of a better opportunity to bring exposure and recognition to women’s cycling in front of a worldwide audience.”
The Amgen Tour of California Women’s International Time Trial Challenge is presented by Specialized and SRAM, who both have a long history of supporting women’s cycling.
“Specialized is a long-time supporter of women’s cycling and women’s racing and we are continuing that support with our partnerships with HTC Highroad and Team TIBCO. The opportunity to help the Amgen Tour of California showcase world class female athletes and increase the coverage of women’s racing is something we are proud to be involved with,” said Rachael Lambert, Specialized Women’s Product and Marketing Manager.
“When the idea of the ‘Challenge’ came up, we couldn’t help but pledge our support. SRAM proudly joins AEG and Specialized in hosting the best female cyclists competing in the purest of all bike racing formats, the race against the clock. And certainly it will be a perfect showcase for our componentry and technologies,” said Alex Wassmann, SRAM US Road Sponsorship Manager.
“We hope to be able to build this event into a vibrant part of the Amgen Tour of California,” continued Messick. “We are extremely thankful to our sponsors Specialized and SRAM for continuing to help support women’s cycling and for providing leadership to make this race happen.”