Preview: Amgen Tour of California

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America’s greatest race, The Amgen Tour of California gets underway on Sunday 10th of May. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are excited to be taking part in the 8 stage UCI 2.HC event for the first time in the team’s history.

As America’s most prestigious Tour and hosted in the cycling crazy state of California, it is a great opportunity for our African team to go and share the message of Qhubeka with the people of North America. The Amgen Tour of California could be seen as America’s very own grand tour as all the hype around the event, star studded field and general organisation is of equal standard to many World Tour races already.

The route has something for everyone with flat sprint stages, some undulating stages, an individual time trial as well as a Queen stage that finishes a top Mount Baldy. It is no wonder that the general classification typically suits your grand tour type rider. Looking at the palmares of the race, Bradley Wiggins and Tejay van Gaarderen are the most recent victors of the yellow jersey.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are looking forward to putting on a good show over the upcoming 8 days with a strong team ready to show our stripes, particularly in the stages ending in a sprint. Tyler Farrar, Matt Goss and Gerald Ciolek are all keen to be back racing the Amgen Tour of California as Tyler and Matt are both previous stage victors while Gerald has podiumed on 4 occasions previously. Theo Bos will also be looking forward to giving the American tour a good crack in the coming week, as he rounds out a formidable sprint line-up.

For the general classification, the South African champion, Jacques Janse van Rensburg will lead the charge for our African team. Jacques will be able to rely on Daniel Teklehaimanot, Johann van Zyl and Matt Brammeier for assistance throughout the week.

African fans will be able to watch all the action live on Supersport from 23:00 daily on SS6.

Johann van Zyl – Rider
I’m super excited to finally race the Amgen Tour of California. I’ve been following the race closely every year wishing I was there. It is going to be special to go and promote our Qhubeka foundation for the first time during the Amgen Tour of California with the goal to get 5000 kids on bikes this year. We are lining up with a strong team that will have opportunities on the flat stages and GC. I am feeling good so I’ll try my luck in a break or two and also have a good crack at the stage 6 ITT.

Michel Cornelisse – Sport Director
We hope to do a good GC with Jacques as the Mount Baldy stage will suit his capabilities. With guys like Farrar, Goss, Ciolek we have a good candidates for stage wins and we know Farrar is really motivated to race in America. Bos has also just shown in Turkey that he is also just getting better and better so we are excited to get racing.

 

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