Nine WorldTour ProTeams confirmed for Amgen Tour of California
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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Nine WorldTour ProTeams confirmed for Amgen Tour of California

by Ben Atkins at 4:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Peter Sagan, Ted King and Peter Stetina among those confirmed for US race

tejay van garderenThere will be nine WorldTour ProTeams at the start of the Amgen Tour of California, race organiser AEG has announced, as International Cycling Union (UCI) rule changes allow for up to 65% of invited teams to be from the sport’s top division. The BMC Racing Team of 2013 winner Tejay van Garderen (pictured) will return - although van Garderen himself will not be riding - as will American teams Cannondale Pro Cycling, Garmin-Sharp and the Trek Factory Team.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step will also be on the start line, as usual, and Orica-GreenEdge will make its third straight appearance. Belkin returns to the race, having skipped last year’s edition despite Robert Gesink’s victory in 2012, as do Giant-Shimano [the as-yet-officially-announced new name of Argos-Shimano.

Team Sky returns to California for the first time since 2011, when the team won two stages through Ben Swift and Greg Henderson.

While most team rosters will be announced closer to the race’s start, on May 11th, some riders have already confirmed their participation, including four-time points jersey winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

“After the first time I raced in the Amgen Tour of California I immediately knew I wanted to come as many times as possible,” he said at the race’s press conference. “Over the past four years I’ve had some of my best performances here.

“The Amgen Tour of California will always be a priority in my season,” he added. “I hope to continue to have great results again this year and win another green jersey. I think green and gold is a good combination!”

Sitting alongside Sagan at the race announcement press conference, Cannondale’s Ted King foresaw even more success for the Slovakian champion, but also some for himself as he would “predict my own stage win.”

King expects the “Green Machine” to dominate much of the eight-day race, as he explained.

“Cannondale Pro Cycling will be on the front a lot,” said King. “Including crossing the line first.”

Jens Voigt (Trek) has something of a following at the Amgen Tour of California, having been ever-present since 2006, and also confirmed his participation in the 2014 edition.

“I take pride in the fact that I participated in every single edition of the Amgen Tour of California since it started!” said the German veteran. “I love this race and have seen it grow and become bigger and better every year! And now, going into my last season as an active pro rider, I want to be part of this spectacular race once more!! California, here I come!”

While Sagan will look to dominate the sprint stages, and Voigt will likely be a virtually constant fixture in the race’s breakaways as usual, one likely general classification contender has confirmed that he too will be on the Sacramento start line in place of new teammate van Garderen.

“Proud to report that, after 3 years of Giro d'Italia's, I'll return to @AmgenTourofCali 2014!” tweeted Peter Stetina (BMC Racing) “It's got a big target on it's back! #HomeRace.”

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