CANYON//SRAM Racing had a tough start to stage one at the Amgen Tour of California Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race empowered with SRAM. Alena Amialiusik was the team's first rider across the line in 27th place. The opening stage in South Lake Tahoe was won by Megan Guarnier (DLT), ahead of Emma Johansson (WHT) and Kristin Armstrong (T16).
The 117km stage around picturesque Lake Tahoe in Northern California was in windy and blustery conditions. Sarah Storey (PAC) launched an early solo attack following the first QOM at Emerald Bay after 18km into the race. The British rider had an advantage of over five minutes and was only caught in the final 10km.
Following the race Directeur Sportif Ronny Lauke could not hide his disappointment in the stage outcome. "Before the stage I hoped that we could have been able to be with the main contenders. During the stage the race went okay for us. There was one solo rider in the lead who would have a large gap, and we didn't have to do the main work during the race. But at the final, on that small climb, we simply were not able to go with anything."
With Amialiusik the best placed CANYON//SRAM Racing rider on the overall classification, 50 seconds behind Guarnier, Lauke hinted the team will look for stage wins. "Since we lost so much time on that final climb it makes our position on GC now rather difficult to be honest. Stage wins are much more within our reach than the overall at this point of the tour. We will see what happens."
Lauke pointed out this was not the form he expects to continue for the remainder of the tour. "I want to see our riders bounce back. That they can show a positive reaction tomorrow and in the following stages. The best will be that already starts in tomorrow's stage two team time trial. Our team is capable of strong performances in this tour. We didn't see that today, but we know that it won't continue that way."
Stage two tomorrow is a 20.3km undulating team time trial in the city of Folsom. CANYON//SRAM Racing will be third team off the start ramp at 10:38hrs PDT. Follow the action on the team's Twitter @WMNcycling.
Stage 2 Folsom TTT, 20.3km, 10:30hrs PDT
Stage 3 Santa Rosa, 111km, 09:15hrs PDT
Stage 4 Sacramento, 66km, 11:40hrs PDT
by Beth Duryea