Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has selected a strong, experienced and versatile lineup for the seven-stage Tour of California which gets underway in Sacramento.
With a number of sprint opportunities on offer, the likes of Mark Cavendish and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg will be casting their respective eye over those chances with Bernhard Eisel, Jay Thomson and Lars Bak all set to play important supporting roles.
Louis Meintjes, who only recently made his return to racing at the Tour of Romandie, also starts and will be looking at the climb to Mount Baldy as an important moment in his season, with an eye to the rest of the year.
While for Ben King, the Tour of California is closest he has to a home race and so presents a chance for local fans to see him for the first time since his double stage win at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018.
The stage 6 finish at Mount Baldy will feature heavily in determining the overall winner of the race. Having finished here previously on four occasions it averages a 7% gradient, but its latter ten switchbacks top out at over 22%.
“I look forward to racing in the USA. My wife and parents will be here. I’ve raced almost every edition since I turned pro and it’s always exciting. The fans are incredible, the route is beautiful, and it’s racing at the highest level on home soil!
“It’s awesome to be back in California. I spent a few of my early years racing in the US so it’s good to be back, feels like I’m back to where it all began. Plus we have a great team here!” – Ben King
“It’s a great race with a lot of different opportunities over the seven days that we are ready to take on with the Team. It’s been a difficult start to the year but we are here to turn things around and look forward to some success in the Golden State.” – Jay Thomson
“For me, it’s the first time that I’m doing the race and I’m just happy for some warmer weather!
“After recently only just returning at Romandie, hopefully I can finish the race feeling like my form is improving.” Louis Meintjes