Trixi Worrack wins inaugural Women’s Amgen Tour of California stage race

by Jessi Braverman

Trixi Worrack (Velocio-SRAM) won the first Women’s Amgen Tour of California empowered by SRAM stage race on Sunday in brilliant fashion. The German, who started the day in second place overall to overnight leader Lauren Komanski (Twenty16 – Sho-Air), snagged nine bonus seconds before the stage had reached its conclusion by winning each of the three intermediate sprints. Because Komanski didn’t challenge for the sprints, Worrack powered toward the finish as the virtual race leader, unbeatable on the overall as long as she finished on bunch time.

“My team was amazing,” said Worrack. “My team was so strong in the lead-outs that it didn’t give anyone an opportunity to beat me in the intermediates. For the final, well, I could take it more relaxed because I had been put in a good position.”

The 54.5km circuit race was not without challenges for Worrack. She had to drop back to her team car mid-race to deal with an unexpected issue.

“My shoe broke after the first sprint,” Worrack explained. “We changed it after the second sprint but it easy to do and caused no problems.”

Stage two winner Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) was the only other overall contender to pocket any bonus seconds via intermediate sprints. The Canadian started the day in fourth place overall, 12 seconds behind Komanski, and took a single second on the third and final intermediate sprint.

Showing her versatility as triple Canadian road champion (time trial, road, criterium), Kirchmann won the field sprint in Sacramento, adding the stage three victory to her win at Heavenly Resort on Saturday. With the stage win came a ten second bonus. It would propel her up to second overall behind Worrack, who had done enough to win the race despite finishing in fourth place on the stage, outside of the time bonuses.

“It was just incredible,” said Kirchman. “Everything from the venue, the crowds, all the excitement and the media attention. I’m so excited to come back last year.

Fun fact of the day: With the overall victory, comes a Lexus. It’s unclear as to how Worrack might get her prize over to Europe.

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