Rally Cycling’s Emma White sprinted to second place in the opening stage of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s race on Thursday. After a stellar leadout from her teammates, the current U23 national road race and time trial champion launched her sprint from 300 meters out. Kendall Ryan (Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) was the only rider from the star-studded field that could come past.
The 124 km stage in Elk Grove traveled south along the Sacramento River and with no mountain points on offer, the main difficulties were the multiple bridge crossings that served to stretch the peloton. An early breakaway of two riders escaped and built an advantage of 45 seconds over the chasing field. Rally Cycling stayed out of the wind and let the WorldTour teams control the race for the anticipated sprint where the Rally Cats executed their plans to near perfection.
“It was chaos from ten km out,” said White. “My teammates positioned me really well into the last km and a half and once we hit the finishing straight there were people going everywhere so I kinda had to improvise a little bit.”
“I ended up going much earlier than I probably should have and was passed in the final few meters. I’m happy to hang onto second. I think that was the longest sprints I have ever done!”
The result gives White the lead in the best young rider competition heading into tomorrow’s 108 km queen stage in Lake Tahoe.
Stage 1 Results
1 Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 3:07:08
2 Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling
3 Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5
4 Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing
5 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
6 Jennifer Valente (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air
7 Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink
8 Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint
9 Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Women
10 Skylar Schneider (USA) USA Cycling National Team