ELITE WOMEN’S TEAMS AND ROUTE CONFIRMED FOR 2015 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
The World’s Top Professional Women Cyclists Will Compete in an Unprecedented Three-day Stage Race and Invitational Time Trial – Empowered with SRAM – Flush with Scenery and Challenges
LOS ANGELES (February 19, 2015) – Fourteen of the top women’s cycling teams from around the world are confirmed to lead off the 10th edition of the Amgen Tour of California with three days and 158 miles of stage racing May 8-10 and an invitational Time Trial on May 15. The four days of women’s competition will be staged in conjunction with the men’s eight-day race.
Powerhouse teams such as Velocio-SRAM (formerly Team Specialized-lululemon), which ranked second in the world last season, and Alé-Cipollini boast rosters with some of the most decorated women in the sport will compete in what many experts believe will be the best women’s cycling event ever to take place on U.S. soil. Several of the teams expected to put forward top contenders for the overall win are also mounting counterparts in the men’s race, including Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental (under the same management as Team SmartStop) and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
“After finishing in third place at La Course at Le Tour de France last year, I’m energized by the increased dedication to women’s professional cycling by the biggest professional cycling race in North America,” said Leah Kirchmann, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and Canadian National Champion. “The course looks amazing and I can’t wait to be a part of the Amgen Tour of California.”
The full list of teams that will race May 8-10 includes:
BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental
Canada National Team
Colavita|Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking
The Women’s Cycling Association showcases inspiring riders from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to feature U.S. Pro Mountain Bike Racer, Erin Alders.
WCA: How long have you been riding?
Erin: I have been riding in and out since 2000. Check out Erin riding in her YouTube video!
WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?
Erin: I would say some of my most memorable experiences are the days I’ve had the most fun on a bike. There is a group of guys I ride mountain bikes with from Truckee, and I call them my Truckee boyfriends. Riding with them is epic and hilarious. Being with them is like being in a magical bubble. (I’m a magical bubble). I’m either having a laughing attack, or wondering how I am going to make it back before dark, or watching some godlike way to ride a technical section…
The rides that I’ve been able to do with my coaches will be forever etched into my memory.
As far as racing, I remember the hardest days and the sweetest days. The days when it all comes together and you win. Also the days that break you down. I like to think those days helped toughen me up and build character.
WCA: Do you have a favorite race. If so, why?
Erin: So far I have two favorite races and one is the Nevada City Classic. My parent’s house is on the course, there’s climbing, my family and friends are there, and I can hear people cheering for me all over the course.
My other favorite race is the Downieville Classic. My house sits on the finishing stretch; the course consists of a long climb and a technical descent. My family is there to support, [...]
“Real” Ride Foods
aka. “Training the Gut”
The gut (or gastrointestinal system) is a very trainable organ. Much like physical training of the muscles to endure long hours on the bike, the gastrointestinal system can be trained to endure larger amounts of food during riding. The gut contains approximately 100 trillion microbes, all of which respond to external and internal stressors/cues for digestion. Therefore by giving ourselves small amounts of “real food” successfully while under lower intensity work, we can slowly train our body to take larger amounts of food while enduring higher intensity training.
The Head vs. The Gut
The types of foods your gut and head desire while training can be similar or completely
different. I make this distinction between the ‘gut’ and the ‘head’ because often times
what you are craving in the moments of entertainment/distraction on long training rides is
not what you should eat at that time. For example, how many of us distract ourselves
with thoughts of limitless pancakes or waffles topped with butter and real maple syrup?
Or allow ourselves to become dehydrated while salivating over the thought of freshly
baked salty tortilla chips or burgers? Obviously, this is not what we should be eating
while in the middle of training! So, we force down another gel, gel block, gummy candy,
or peanut butter and jelly bite on stale white bread feel sick from overly sweet
mouthfuls, but see our performance improve all because we know we should be eating
It is true that these quick sources of carbohydrates can be performance saving
convenience. However, I think that the gels, gel blocks, etc. can be put aside while doing
base training and saved for more critical times like when you are racing, times of higher