Giant-Shimano: Tour of California
With the Giro d’Italia underway over in Europe, riders are crossing the Atlantic for the Tour of California which gets underway on Sunday.
John Degenkolb (GER) heads the roster for the week-long American race and he is joined by a mix of both experienced and young riders, including two who start their ‘home’ race in Team Giant-Shimano colours – Lawson Craddock (USA) and Chad Haga (USA).
Roy Curvers (NED) will be the road captain during the race and he is joined by compatriot, Daan Olivier (NED) who heads to the US after a strong showing in the first Ardennes Classics of his young career.
The race gets underway with a 193km road stage around Sacramento. The first day should be a chance for the sprinters to get the race off to a strong start with the only real difficulties coming in the middle of the stage, followed by a long downhill then flat run to the finish of over 75km.
Following this is an individual time trial before the race’s first mountain top finish on stage 3.
“We head out to California with two objectives for the team – to win a stage with John and also see how the younger guys can do in the GC,” said Team Giant-Shimano coach, Aike Visbeek (NED).
“Lawson, Chad and Daan will have the chance here to see what they can do and we will decide after the time trial and mountain stage who is our GC leader.
“We want to not only focus on getting a result here but also on the development of these young riders – both Chad and Lawson finished in the top 10 here last year but this year they are in a bigger team with more pressure and this is part of their development, dealing with this pressure.
“Daan races here for the first time but he showed strength and composure in Fleche Wallonne and also performed well in Pais Vasco so he’s capable of racing well here.
“John is coming back from a break after his spring campaign and he showed in Frankfurt that he is already getting back up to speed so with the different opportunities ahead over the eight days we can hope to have a good race.”
Tour of California (2.HC)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Daan Olivier (NED)
Aike Visbeek (NED).