Megan Guarnier, defending Amgen Women’s Race champion and winner of the inaugural Women’s WorldTour last year, will headline the 2017 start list when this year’s four-day race takes off from South Lake Tahoe on May 11 and concludes in Sacramento on May 14.
Guarnier and her Boels Dolmans team, which won the Women’s WorldTour team competition last year, were part of a 16-team start list that race owners AEG unveiled Thursday morning along with the list of teams selected for the Tour of California men’s race.
“I was so proud to win last year’s Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, the most prestigious race in my home country,” said Guarnier, who lives in San Mateo, California. “It was one of the highlights of my season, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me and my team in California this May.”
Guarnier took the lead in last year’s race on the opening day in South Tahoe, then held off challenges from Kristin Armstrong and Marianne Vos to take the overall win in Sacramento. She eventually finished 17 seconds ahead of Armstrong – who went on to win Gold at the Olympic time trial in Rio – 28 seconds ahead of teammate Evelyn Stevens and 42 seconds ahead of Vos.
This year’s route once again starts in South Lake Tahoe and finishes in Sacramento, but Guarnier will face a whole new host of challengers after Armstrong and Stevens retired and Vos’ new WM3 team won’t be at the race.
Canyon/SRAM’s Trixi Worrack, who missed the race last year while she was recovering from injury, will lead the charge to unseat Guarnier, while up-and-coming road pro and Olympic silver medalist Chloe Dygert will pick up the Sho-Air Twenty20 baton from Armstrong.
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