When no women’s race was announced as part of this year’s Amgen Tour of California, ProjectSport, the people behind San Rafael Twilight Crit and San Francisco Twilight Crit, put together the Sacramento Grand Prix. While the pro men race from Nevada City to Sacramento on stage 1 of the 8-day stage race, fans will be treated to a fast and furious criterium at the finish line, from women and pro/am men.
At stake are the win, prize money and the all important exposure. The women’s winner will be presented in the official Amgen Tour of California Press Conference immediately following Stage 1 finish. The prize list if $4,000 for the men pro/1/2 and $6,000 for the women pro/1/2 – nice turnaround there.
The 1.4-mile (2.2-km) course circles the Capitol Building to duplicate portions of the Tour’s circuit just hours before Stage 1 is slated to finish in downtown Sacramento. The pro/1/2 man race 60 minutes at 11am and the women come to the front at 12:10pm also for a 60-minute race.
Follow @podium_live for updates during the women’s race.
On the sprinters front, one has to look at the Colavita/Baci team with Rushlee Buchanan who won the final USA Crits race and Modesta Vzesniauskaite winner of two stages at Joe Martin. Buchanan did crash out of the final Joe Martin stage on ‘that’ corner but she told me afterwards that it was only road rash.
Team VBF has Erica Allar (Team VBF), multiple podium finisher at USA Crits and Alexi Rhodes who soloed to a win at the final stage at Joe Martin. TIBCO/To The Top does not have its top sprinters at the race with Brooke Miller racing at Tour de L’Aude – where she won the sprinters jersey today – but Meredith Miller and Alison Starnes will push for a break and wait for opportunities. Speaking of sprinters, Laura Van Gilder is guest-riding with the Third Pillar team and can always be counted to be in the thick of things. Uber-junior Coryn Rivera will have a strong Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12 team backing her up which includes PanAm Gold winner in the women’s team pursuit on the track, Lauren Tamayo. Another rider to watch is Joelle Numainville (Webcor Builders) who finished second at the PanAm road race, especially as Amber Neben will be racing her fist event with her new team Webcor.
In the men’s race, the favorite going in is Rahsaan Bahati (OUCH p/b Bahati Foundation). He will have to contend with the California teams who would love to get some limelight. Teams such as Yahoo! Cycling, Williams Cycling p/b SCVelo, Davis Bike Club, Wells Fargo and Webcor/Alto Velo will use their numbers to try and get a break away. Other teams to watch include California Giant and Team Specialized Racing. Lone wolfs that could surprise include Roman Kilun (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) and Justin Williams (Trek-Livestrong). Also of note, Radioshack mechanic Vincent Gee is also racing.
See complete startlists.