BEAUMONT, California (VN) – Amgen Tour of California organizer AEG appears set to launch a women’s elite time trial to accompany the men’s event in Solvang in May. According to several sources, invitations for the SRAM-backed event went out a week ago, and the purse will be paid based on the number of men the women beat.
According to sources, AEG president Andrew Messick circulated invitations to the managers of a number of top female riders, including former Olympic and world champion Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12); former world champ Amber Neben and current U.S. champ Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Highroad); former Pan-American and U.S. champ Alison Powers; and Powers’ teammate, back-to-back world omnium champion Tara Whitten (Tibco-To The Top).
Powers told VeloNews Saturday that “it’s happening and I’ll be there.”
When contacted Saturday, Messick and SRAM public relations manager Michael Zellman would not confirm the event.
The race is said to be running in conjunction with the stage-six time trial in the men’s UCI 2.HC stage race on May 20. According to one team manager who asked not to be named because of involvement with the event, riders will be rewarded on the basis of how many of their male competitors they best in the 24km test.
Messick would not confirm any information related to prize payouts.
The date conflicts with the May 19 Chrono Gatineau women’s UCI time trial in Quebec. A number of riders told VeloNews that they would choose Solvang over that WE 1.1 event.