Events

Hall wins first stage of Amgen Women’s Tour of California

UnitedHealthcare's Katie Hall sprinted to win stage 1 of the first-ever Amgen Tour of California Women's Race to take the overall lead

Katie Hall sprinted out a small bunch of riders to win stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race on Friday.

The 28-year-old UnitedHealthcare rider took her second win of the season on a chilly, 74.5-mile ride around South Lake Tahoe, California.

Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi) was the day’s primary instigator. She escaped with Kirsti Lay (Canada) after about 15 miles of racing, just before the first queen of the mountains (QOM) sprint.

Lay soon was back in the field, but Storey pressed on alone.

Several riders attempted to bridge up to the lone leader, but only Allison Beveridge (Canada) could make the move.

The duo rode together for much of the race, staying away over the day’s last QOM, Spooner Lake. However, the gap that had once gone out to nearly two minutes was falling fast, and with about 14 miles left, the field was all together.

Eight riders made a move in the closing six miles of the race: Shoshauna Routley (BMW-Happy Tooth), Trixi Worrack (Velocio-SRAM), Annie Ewart (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare), Malgorzata Jasinska (Ale Cipollini), Joanne Hogan (Tibco-SVB), Amber Gaffney (Twenty16-Sho-Air), and Stephanie Roorda (Canada).

However, the move was too dangerous, and the peloton brought it back before the final mile of racing.

As the group wound up the pace on the final climb up Keller Street to the finish at Heavenly ski resort, riders were soon being shelled out the back. A final selection of about 10 sprinted for the win, with Hall coming out on top, ahead of Alena Amialiusik (Velocio-SRAM). Lauren Komanski (Twenty16-Sho-Air) finished third.

The race continues Saturday with a 49.7-mile race comprised of two circuits in South Lake Tahoe.