Photo: Jonothan Devich
May 17, 2018 (Pescadero, CA) — In a stunning sprint finish, Kendall Ryan (USA) won the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California today, her first UCI World Tour victory. The 77.1-mile race started and finished in Elk Grove, CA, featuring scenic roads along California’s rural landscape. As anticipated, the race came down to a sprint finish, with Kendall securing the victory in a world-class field.
“I’m over the moon right now,” said Kendall Ryan. “As a So-Cal girl, to win a stage of the Amgen Tour of California was so special. It’s a World Tour race, so I was sprinting against the best, and it’s also a race that’s close to my heart as California’s biggest race. I couldn’t be happier right now, and I’m thankful for my team for believing in me and pushing me to be my best out there.”
“I am absolutely thrilled for Kendall and the team,” said Linda Jackson, Founder of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank. “Kendall has been on the team for 7 years now, and we know the talent that she has and continues to demonstrate. This victory shows just how well she can perform on the world stage. And it’s even sweeter that her first UCI World Tour victory came right here in California.”
From the start of the race, the team was committed to a sprint finish and worked hard to neutralize the attempted breakaways. The focus was staying fresh and ready for the final kilometers.
Describing the race finale, Kendall said, “Our plan was to get assembled before the final two turns, which we did. We were basically in a drag race with one of the other teams going into the final kilometer. I was on the back of our train, and Ingrid [Drexel] dropped me off for the final sprint. I saw Emma White start her sprint around 500m to go, and jumped on her wheel, using her slip stream to launch my sprint and was able to hold it all the way to the finish! Every breath left my body as I was sprinting and screaming as I crossed the line. It was a pretty magical moment for me.”
Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California heads up to the mountains, with three epic QOM’s including the 8-mile climb up Kingsbury Grade. To watch the race, follow VOX Women and use #UCIWWT.
Watch the race highlights for the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California: