Cavendish and Rogers opt for Tour of California over Giro
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cavendish and Rogers opt for Tour of California over Giro

by Conal Andrews at 7:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 

This year’s Amgen Tour of California has continued to draw some of the biggest names in cycling with the announcement that ten-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish and multiple world time trial champion Michael Rogers will lead the HTC Columbia team at the race.

The duo have, together with the team management, essentially chosen the American event over the Giro d’Italia. Both rode in Italy last year but the change in race date of the Amgen Tour of California has required the choice of one over another.

"With the Giro d'Italia taking place at the same time we had to plan the roster carefully,” said team owner Bob Stapleton. “But we have the depth in the team and two of the fastest sprinters in the world and can send strong line-ups to both of these great events."

He said that both riders were showing signs of strong form and would chase success in the American event prior to aiming for big results in the Tour de France.

"Mark had a slower start to the 2010 season due to an infection resulting from dental work in the off season," Stapleton continued. “He is back racing at full speed and won his first race last week in Spain. The Tour of California will be a big focus for him in the lead up to the Tour de France.”

Cavendish took three stages plus the green jersey in the 2009 edition. His team-mate also rode extremely strongly there.

"Rogers was third overall last year and he is having an excellent season this year including winning the Tour of Andalusia and coming second overall in Criterium International last week,” said Stapleton. “We are excited to see what we can do in as a team in California."

"The Tour of California is a fantastic race that has grown in prestige every year since its inception in 2006. It's become one of America's premier sporting events and a top race worldwide.”

The team is registered in the US and one of its main backers, Columbia, is based there. HTC is a Taiwan operation but the US market is very important for it. While the Giro d’Italia is rich in history and is regarded as one of the three biggest stage races in the world, the Amgen Tour of California has rapidly attracted prestige and will this year feature what is probably its best-ever lineup.

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