Lining up in Sacramento with a strong all-round roster, the California based ProTour team HTC-Columbia will start its home state race on Sunday ready to be competitive in both the sprints and the overall classification.
“The Tour of California has always been one of the season focuses for our team,” says Team Manager Rolf Aldag. “It was important to us to come here with a good team and the goal of being competitive the entire race.
“Mark Cavendish has great form with his recent win in Tour de Romandie so we will start on Sunday with the objective of taking the first stage win.
“For the overall we have Mick Rogers and Tony Martin. Mick finished third last year and is having a great season so far this year. He led Tour de Romandie until the final stage last week. Between him and Tony, and with the help of young American Tejay Van Garderen in the mountains, we believe we have a good chance.”
Michael Rogers is looking forward to improving on 2009. “I’m excited to be back at the Tour of California,” he says. “With this year’s course being more demanding than previous editions, I hope to improve on last year’s result. We come here with a balanced team that is very motivated to win”.
Cavendish confirmed Aldag’s plan to go for early success saying “I feel good. I came to California early to make sure I was ready for the first stage. We hope to get the jersey in the first stage with me and then try to retain it with another rider later in the race.”
Leading up to the start of the race the team will be presented by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Saturday night prior to the screening of “Chasing Legends” – a film about the 2009 Tour de France featuring HTC-Columbia. Tickets to the event are available here.
Also on Friday night at 7pm Pacific time the winner of the team’s auction to support Right To Play will be announced, with the highest bidder taking home a team edition Scott bike, a signed HTC-Columbia jersey, an HTC phone and the opportunity to ride in the team car during the TT stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Click here to be a part of helping Right To Play help kids all over the world.
Roster for Amgen Tour of California: Lars Bak (Den), Mark Cavendish (UK), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Tony Martin (Ger), Mark Renshaw (Aus), Mick Rogers (Aus), Tejay Van Garderen (USA)