LOS ANGELES (February 20, 2014) – The field is locked and the stage is set for the most competitive edition yet of the nation’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling race, the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. In addition to the nine UCI Pro Teams announced previously (http://bit.ly/1f2enIz), race presenter AEG welcomes seven UCI Pro Continental and Continental teams to the ninth annual stage race. Four of the top-10 ranked UCI America Tour teams are amongst the lineup.
Among the American-based Pro Continental teams are top-ranked UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team of Oakland, Calif., and Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, of Atlanta, Ga. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team finished the 2013 Amgen Tour of California third in the team standings, and features top climber and northern California native Lucas Euser and rising star Kiel Reijnen of Boulder, Colo.
“Ever since I rushed home from the 2006 Amgen Tour of California to take a midterm exam the following morning, I knew the race would always play a special role in my career. This year, I am excited because there are two summit finishes. As a California native and the top climber on a California-based team, I plan to use the home field advantage in giving me the edge I need to succeed,” said Lucas Euser, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
Germany’s Team NetApp-Endura, whose climbing specialist Leopold Koenig won a stage in the Amgen Tour of California and the Vuelta a España last year, rounds out the teams competing as Pro Continental entries.
“The team loves to race in California. We all look forward to the Amgen Tour of California because it has beautiful scenery, it’s warm and also incredibly competitive,” said Czech Republic’s Leopold Koenig, who won the dramatic Queen stage of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California at the summit of Mt. Diablo last year. “We performed really well last year, and I’m definitely hoping to repeat the stage win at the top of Mount Diablo. That was an incredible moment last year.”
The U.S. Continental teams selected for the 2014 race will include Optum Pro Cyclingpresented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, which features current U.S. National Time Trial Champion Tom Zirbel; Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home; Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS, which features U.S. National Road Race Champion Freddie Rodriguez of Berkeley, Calif.; and Bissell Development Team, which will be make their third appearance in the race under new management.
“Our team is proud to be competing in our sixth Amgen Tour of California. The race is always a great opportunity for our athletes to test themselves against the very best in the world and for our sponsors to gain exposure through a world-class event,” said Jonas Carney, team director, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies.
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California, May 11 – 18, will cover more than 740 miles through 12 host cities as the top cyclists in the world compete from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks in front of millions of fans and an international television audience. With full rosters yet to be announced, the race has been America’s biggest showcase of Olympic medalists, Tour de France stage winners and world champions since its inception in 2006.
In addition to the stellar roster of cycling teams that was rounded out today, earlier this week AEG announced that the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will feature more professional women’s racing than any previous race of its kind on U.S. soil with two days of action-packed competition presented by SRAM. Invitations are now being extended to an elite international roster of female cyclists to compete in a circuit race surrounding the state capitol building in downtown Sacramento when the Amgen Tour of California begins on May 11. The following day, a field of nearly two dozen of the world’s top-ranked women time trialists will race the clock during a time trial in Folsom over the same course the men will ride later that day.
“With more UCI ProTeams in the line-up than ever before [due to new regulations] and the strongest field of Pro-Continental and Continental teams we have ever invited, the field this year is shaping up to be our most competitive ever,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “Our commitment to the fans and the competitors remains focused on fielding an exciting race for the top teams in the sport, as well as creating a climate for dynamic domestic teams to compete on an international platform and challenge the brightest talent in the world.”
“We took the Queen stage at the summit of Mt. Diablo last year, so we’ll be gunning for that victory again. It’s one of the toughest climbs in America, and tackling it so early in the race this year will make for an exciting week for sure. It’s anyone’s game,” said Ralph Denk, team manager for Team NetApp-Endura.
The full 2014 Amgen Tour of California roster represents teams from seven countries and includes:
- Belkin-Pro Cycling Team, Netherlands
- BMC Racing Team, USA
- Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
- Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
- ORICA-GreenEDGE, Australia
- Team Giant-Shimano, Netherlands
- Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
- Team Sky, Great Britain
- Trek Factory Racing, USA
UCI Professional Continental Teams:
- UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA
- Team Novo Nordisk, USA
- Team NetApp-Endura, Germany
UCI Continental Teams:
- Optum Pro Cyclingpresented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
- Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home, USA
- Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS, USA
- Bissell Development Team, USA
Schedule and route for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California:
- Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
- Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (individual time trial)
- Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park
- Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria
- Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
- Stage 6: Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High
- Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
- Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks (circuit race)
Additional and more specific details about each stage of this year’s race were released earlier today by race organizers. More information about the 2014 route and other race-related news can be found at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
About the Amgen Tour of California
The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high-unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world’s largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential. For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, The O2, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Best Buy Theater Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), two Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG Live, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com.
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Michael Roth, AEG
Eileen Tanner, GolinHarris
Diana Valdez, GolinHarris