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Amgen Tour expands women’s events to two days for 2014

The Amgen Tour of California will expand its women’s racing by one day in 2014, organizer AEG Sports announced Monday. As reported by ESPN.com Saturday, the Amgen Tour will feature two elite women’s events in May, with a circuit race and time trial.

The May 11 circuit race in Sacramento will coincide with stage 1 of the men’s stage race. The event will take place on a 1.25-mile, four-corner course near the Capitol Building. A day later, the women will compete in an invitational individual time trial in Folsom.

“As a founding sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, we’re proud to again join with AEG in showcasing some of cycle sport’s fastest and most celebrated athletes on the roads of California,” SRAM’s Alex Wassmann said in a press release.

The top three finishers in the circuit race not already on the TT startlist will gain invitations for the May 12 race against the clock. Each race will offer a $10,000 prize purse.

This is the first time the Amgen Tour will offer more than a single day of women’s racing in tandem with its 10-year-old men’s race.

“Through the years, AEG has been proud to provide a worldwide platform to the top women cyclists in the world. We’ve staged a women’s criterium from 2008 to 2010, and a time trial since 2011,” AEG Sports senior vice president Kristin Bachochin said. “This year, we’re thrilled to announce not one but two days of professional women’s racing with the inclusion of a circuit race and a time trial — more opportunity for the stars of the sport to shine, and more reason for cycling fans to come out or tune in to follow the best racing event on U.S. soil.”

The Amgen Tour of California takes place May 11-18. The race starts in Sacramento and finishes in Thousand Oaks.