Powers Blasts to Amgen Tour of California Time Trial Win
Starting and finishing in the historic district of Folsom, California, stage two of the Amgen Tour of California served up a 20.1 kilometer time trial course for UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team’s men’s and women’s squads. Racing started late in the morning, under sunny skies and breezy conditions that would significantly influence the athletes’ pacing for the event.
Coming off of what she described as a disappointing time trial at Tour of the Gila, UnitedHealthcare rider Alison Powers came to the event looking for answers, and confirmation of her form heading into the upcoming national championships. “When I previewed the course on Friday, I knew it was for me,” said the powerhouse rider, who went on to explain, “at 5’ 10”, I’m bigger than many of the other women, and I’m really good at carrying speed on long, gradual descents,” noting that the route contained several short, sharp climbs, but was primarily characterized by very fast sections.
As the riders rolled out of the start gate, the fans waited for answers of their own: would Powers have sufficient recovery from the previous day’s circuit race, during which she personally contained the majority of attacks from competing teams?
By the halfway point of the time trial, that question appeared to have been definitively answered, as Powers blasted through the checkpoint with the day’s fastest split time. Looking calm, comfortable and strong on the bike, she was clearly on a good day. All that remained to be seen was whether she could maintain the pace or accelerate through the second half of the race, or if she would fade from her early efforts.
As the finish line approached, that answer also became clear: Powers had turned in a stellar ride, going on to take the win by just more than 21 seconds. Powers concluded, “I’ve finished second here in the previous two tries. To win today and get the Amgen winner’s bear feels great.”