01 March 2016

10 UCI WorldTour Teams to compete in California

Amgen Tour of California - teams announced today

Fantastic news out of California today, the Amgen Tour of California stage race appears stronger than ever in its 11th year, as a very impressive line up of teams was announced to compete in California this May. Here is my strong tip for the day - wherever you are in mid-May, make sure it is in California. You will see some of the greatest pro riders up close with unprecedented access (and as always - great California weather).

Let's get straight to naming names: 2015 winner Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and runner-up Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick-Step) will return in 2016. Great Britian’s Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), who won four stages last year is a huge crowd favorite and will take on Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), who will be bring his strong sprinting ability to what might be the best sprint field to ever gather.

2012 Tour de France champion and 2014 Amgen Tour of California winner Bradley Wiggins will be back with his continental cycling team (Wiggins). Australian brothers Lachlan and Angus Morton will be back with their colorful Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis cycling team. American Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) is looking forward to competing in front of hometown fans in Northern California. While Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC), a strong contender for the time trial in Folsom, could also be on a step of the final overall podium in Sacramento. Crowd favorite American Taylor Phinney (BMC) will be back in 2016.

Sprinting begins on Stage 1 in San Diego, Sunday, May 15th! Make your tourist plans now.
Great atmosphere at the race. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Amgen Tour of California May 15-22, 2016

Now organized by AEG and ASO, the Amgen Tour of California stage race keeps getting better. I am especially excited about the teams of Dimension Data (formerly Mtn-Qhukbeka), Giant-Alpecin, Etixx-Quick-Step, Sky, and LottoNL returning to the race again this year. I am also excited to see first time teams Direct Énergie and Katusha.

I look forward to hearing the exact rider roster announcements (startlist) in May. For certain, we will have the opportunity to watch pro riders we would otherwise have to plan a 2.5 week vacation, spend thousands of dollars and travel to Europe to see compete. The 2016 schedule should make it easy for fans to see a grouping of two or more stages by picking your area: San Diego County, Pasadena/Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks/Santa Barbara, Monterey/Santa Rosa, Tahoe/Folsom/Sacramento.

I totally agree with Peter Sagan who said, "The Amgen Tour of California is one of my favorite races of the season."
Julian Alaphilippe arrives in Mt Baldy in 2015.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Take the time to visit the team websites and check out their sponsors and the kind of gear they use. Team sponsors, great race organization and the ongoing title sponsorship by Amgen make this race a continuing success.
Tour of California yellow jersey 2016
Official Tour of California yellow jersey 2016
Men’s teams - 18 teams
Each team will bring a roster of 8 riders each.

UCI WorldTour
BMC Racing Team (USA) - BMC bikes
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA) - Cannondale bikes
Dimension Data (South Africa) - Cervélo bikes
Etixx – Quick-Step (Belgium) - Specialized bikes
Giant – Alpecin (Germany) - Giant bikes
Katusha (Russia) - Canyon bikes
LottoNL – Jumbo (Netherlands) - Bianche bikes
Sky (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes
Tinkoff (Russia) - Specialized bikes
Trek – Segafredo (USA) - Trek bikes

UCI Professional Continental
Direct Énergie (France) - BH bikes
Novo Nordisk (USA) - Colnago bikes
UnitedHealthcare (USA) - Wilier bikes

UCI Continental
Axeon Hagens Berman (USA) - Specialized bikes
Holowesko – Citadel Racing Team (USA) - felt bikes
Jelly Belly – Maxxis (USA) - Argon bikes
Rally Cycling (USA) - Diamond Back bikes
Wiggins (Great Britain) - Pinarello bikes (Wikipedia)
Peter Sagan with Evelyn Stevens at the post time trial press conference in 2015.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Rally and United Healthcare will be bringing both a men's and women's team.  Their team buses and mechanic's trailers should be teaming with activity.

Women's team jersey 2016 Amgen Tour of California.
Women’s teams - 18 teams

BePink (Italy) 
Boels-Dolmans (Netherlands)
Canyon – SRAM Racing (Germany)
Colavita – Bianchi (USA)
Cylance (USA)
Drops (Great Britain)
Hagens Berman – Supermint (USA)
Hitec Products (Norway)
Podium Ambition (Great Britain)
Rabo – Liv (Netherlands)
Rally (USA)
Tibco – SVB (USA)
Twenty16 – Ridebiker (USA)
UnitedHealthcare (USA)
USA Cycling (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA (USA)
Weber Shimano Ladies Power (Argentina)
Wiggle High5 (Great Britain)

Beautiful Santa Barbara, California. I took this photo last year at the race while waiting for the stage start in Santa Barbara. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
2016 posts by Pedal Dancer®:
For more information about the 2016 Amgen Tour of California, with race dates, stage maps and start and finish times, please visit the Pedal Dancer® guide page at: TOUR OF CALIFORNIA 2016

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Pedal Dancer
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish before the final stage start in Westlake Village in 2014. Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
Looking back at 2015 ATOC race coverage by Pedal Dancer®

More Pedal Dancer® race coverage 2016:
Coming soon: Startlist and bib number Amgen Tour of California 2016;  National and World Championship jerseys at the Tour of California; and stories from the race.